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Un Peacekeepers On High Alert In DR Congo

Imminent Release Of Election Results In DR Congo Puts Un Peacekeepers On High Alert

United Nations troops in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are on high alert this weekend, as provisional results from last month’s historic elections are set to be released in the next two days.

The Secretary-General’s Special Representative, William Lacy Swing, says troops will be on maximum alert but will be only minimally visible on the streets of Congolese towns and villages.

The DRC’s Independent Electoral Commission has said it is on track to announce the outcome of the presidential race by Sunday, as originally planned, and the UN mission in the country (known by its French acronym, MONUC) reports that results could be released as early as Saturday.

As of Thursday night, 99 per cent of the votes in the presidential race had been counted while 60 per cent of ballots cast in the parliamentary elections had been processed, the mission said.

Once the results are released, candidates will have three days to file objections or grievances with the Supreme Court of Justice, which will then have five days to rule on the validity of the objections. According to MONUC, the Court will then announce the certified, official results of the presidential elections. If no candidate wins a majority, a second round of balloting between the two front-runners will take place on 29 October.

During the largely peaceful 30 July elections, the largest ever supported by the UN, millions of voters went to some 50,000 polling stations to choose from among 32 candidates for president and more than 9,000 candidates for the National Assembly. It was the first free and fair elections in the DRC in almost half a century.


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