2019 Photo Contest, General News, Stories, 2nd Prize

A Fight for Democracy


John Wessels

Agence France-Presse

13 December, 2018

A man rides his bicycle as smoke rises from a fire at the DRC’s national electoral commission warehouse, in Kinshasa. The blaze reportedly destroyed 80 percent of DRC’s electoral machines, and led to the election being postponed.

Long-delayed general elections to find a successor to President Joseph Kabila in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), were finally held on 30 December. The run-up was marked by protests, street rallies and clashes between opposition supporters and police. Elections had been repeatedly postponed since President Kabila’s mandate expired in 2016. The election was won by Felix Tshisekedi, leader of DRC’s largest opposition party, the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS). The result was disputed by rival parties, but welcomed internationally as the first peaceful transfer of power since Congo’s independence in 1960.


John Wessels

John Wessels was born in Johannesburg in 1987. He started his photojournalism career in 2014, whilst working as a Survey Engineer in Maputo, Mozambique. In 2015, he completed ...

Technical information

Shutter Speed
Focal length
28 mm
Canon EOS 5D Mark III

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