Voters awaiting the results of last Sunday’s presidential poll in the Democratic Republic of Congo need to be patient, the electoral commission says.

So far 53% of votes from the country’s 75,000 polling stations had been counted, the electoral commission chief Corneille Nangaa told journalists.

Results had initially been expected this Sunday.

The influential Catholic Church, which fielded thousands of observers, said on Thursday there was a clear winner.

Joseph Kabila is stepping down after 18 years as president of DR Congo – the world’s leading producer of cobalt, used to power mobile phones and electric cars.

He has promised that the polls, which were supposed to have taken place two years ago, will be DR Congo’s first orderly transfer of power since it gained independence from Belgium in 1960.