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The Election Commission of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) invalidated 82 candidates in December’s general election last week, amid claims of fraud and irregularities and calls to re-run all the elections, including the presidential race, Reuters reported.

The list of disqualified candidates included three ministers and four governors, but noticeably not President Tshisekedi. He secured a second term after a landslide victory on Dec. 20, the same day as other national and local votes.

However, turnout was low: fewer than one registered Congolese voter out of two was able to cast their ballot, the BBC reported. Election day was marred with irregularities at polling stations throughout the country. Two-thirds of them did not open, and violence and technical malfunctions led to a controversial extension of voting.

The election commission said it was investigating “acts of violence, vandalism and sabotage” committed by candidates, a statement seen by the opposition as evidence of widespread fraud.

“By what magic … (that) only the legislative elections were corrupted and not the presidential one?” asked Martin Fayulu, who came third in the presidential election and asked for a do-over of all the races.

The commission maintained that the elections were free and fair. Its statement did not calm the opposition, who called on the international community to probe the vote.

There is little trust in the DRC in the country’s institutions. While the commission was accused of siding with the government, only one candidate took the matter to court, as the others said they had little faith in the judicial system to correct injustices.

Meanwhile, the controversy over the elections threatens to further destabilize the country, which is already experiencing a deadly conflict in the east. Millions are thought to have died in a three-decade conflict tearing apart a region holding 70 percent of the world’s reserves of coltan, a mineral used in the manufacture of mobile phones, the BBC explained.

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