UPDATE 1-DR Congo election protest turns violent, 1 dead

Mon Jul 4, 2011 5:48pm GMT

* Mineral rich Congo gearing up for 2nd post-war poll

* Opposition cries foul at registration process

(Recasts with one dead)

By Jonny Hogg

KINSHASA, July 4 (Reuters) - At least one person died in clashes in the Democratic Republic of Congo's capital on Monday, a doctor said, after police used tear gas to disperse opposition supporters protesting against alleged irregularities in voter registration.

The clashes involving several hundred protesters were the first signs of tension in the capital, Kinshasa, as the vast central African country gears up for its second poll since the 1998-2003 war in which some five million people died.

President Joseph Kabila is favourite to be re-elected in the November vote, but he is becoming increasingly unpopular because of his failure to tackle corruption and bring peace to the east.

Congo's vast mineral wealth is attracting growing investor interest, but most Congolese live in abject poverty.

A car was burned and several people were arrested after leaders of the UDPS, one of the main opposition parties, were stopped from delivering a memorandum to the electoral commission listing their concerns, a Reuters witness said.   Continued...

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