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Calm Prevails In D.R Congo

Calm Prevails In D.R Congo As First Parliamentary Election Results Released, Says UN

The situation in Kinshasa remained calm over the weekend as the first parliamentary election results from last month’s historic balloting emerged, the United Nations mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) reported.

There was no return to the deadly clashes that broke out a week earlier following the release of presidential election results, according to the mission, known by its French acronym MONUC. It said residents of the Congolese capital have been going about their business as usual for the last several days.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) published the first parliamentary election results from 35 of 169 districts over the weekend. The IEC said it will announce the tally from all districts by 4 September.

Violence had erupted between supporters of the two leading presidential candidates, President Joseph Kabila and Vice-President Jean Pierre Bemba, after results from that election were announced on 20 August.

Mr. Kabila received 45 per cent of the vote, while Mr. Bemba won 20 per cent. They will now face each other in a run-off election on 29 October.

The Secretary-General’s Special Representative in the DRC, William Swing, is continuing to encourage both candidates to meet. He said they must maintain the process they undertook in June 2003 with the inauguration of the transitional Government.

The polls, the largest-ever election support project by the UN, were the first free elections in the DRC in nearly half a century. Millions of voters went to some 50,000 polling stations to cast their votes.


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