On Wednesday morning, on Kinshasa’s Triumphal Boulevard, where the parliament is located, heavy presence of the DRC police has been deployed ahead of the protest attempt launched by five of the incumbent President Felix Tshisekedi’s challengers in the race on Dec. 20.
The five opposition candidates demanded a re-run as the general elections suffered from major logistic problems, leading to delay and extension of polling across the country.
On Tuesday, a day before the planned protest, the DRC government banned the protest, claiming that the protest was against the "game rules" and undermined the electoral process as the vote counting has not finished.
"I can reassure you, there will not be this march. It violates the legal provisions that the contestation of the (election) results takes place at the Constitutional Court," said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Peter Kazadi at a press briefing.
Violence has been reported and the police fired tear gas as some protesters burnt the tires on the Triumphal Boulevard, the planned starting point of the protest and right next to the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) in downtown Kinshasa.
According to local media, the police have stepped up security around the CENI headquarters.
The Congolese National Police (PNC), the national police force, accused the opposition of having minors during the protest. According to Blaise Kilimba Limba, police commissioner of Kinshasa, some minors were present at the protest and two police officers were injured.
"The organizers have put minors who are not supervised by their parents at the forefront. At some point, they will be arrested to justify the presence of children at the demonstration site," he told the press.
According to partial results announced by CENI late Tuesday, Tshisekedi was leading the race with 78.98 percent of the vote counted, while Katumbi ranked in second place with 14.27 percent of the vote.
The results announced by CENI so far account for more than 6.1 million ballots out of around 44 million voters registered.
Full provisional election results are expected by Dec. 31. CENI has started to publish daily updates since Dec. 24.