Polling in Leopoldville's pre-independence election May 22 proceeded calmly despite Belgian residents' fears of anti-white violence.
Polling in Leopoldville's pre-independence election May 22 proceeded calmly despite Belgian residents' fears of anti-white violence. Extra police and gendarmes enforced stringent security measures. The polling was for Africans over 21 - women barred - and only in the City's Congolese sectors.
The security measures included curfew in the sectors, a ban on all political meetings and a total alert of 3000 Congolese troops under Belgian officer, 1500 native police armed with rifles and anti-riot shields and 400 Belgian paratroops.
The election voting in Leopoldville - to continue throughout the Congo until May 25 - is for a Chamber of Deputies and provincial councils to form part of the Congo's new constitutional set-up preparatory to proclamation to full independence June 30.
Large orderly crowds of Africans waited their turn to vote at the City polling stations. A coalitions government of African leaders looked the most feasible result since a national majority for any party or person was out of the question due to the large number of political groups.
The largest share of votes was expected to go to the National Progress Party, partisans of Central Government led by Paul Bolya and Albert Delvaux. Other strong groups: the Congolese National Movement, federalist in tendency, led by Patrice Lumumba, and the ABAKO Party, representing the powerful Bakongo tribe, under Joseph Kasavubu.