President's party wins Congo vote

A bloc led by the country's president has won the Democratic Republic of Congo's (DRC) first free multi-party legislative elections in over 40 years, but failed to secure an absolute majority.

    Kabila's alliance has won more than 200 assembly seats

    Joseph Kabila's Alliance of the Presidential Majority bloc has emerged as the biggest single political force in the country, capturing more  than 200 of the 500 seats in the new National Assembly in elections held on July 30.

    An alliance of parties led by Kabila's arch rival, Jean-Pierre Bemba, the Rally of Congolese Nationalists (RCN), took second place with around 100 seats.

    The remaining seats were shared among independents and smaller political groupings, including the Coalition of Congolese Democrats (CCD) led by Pierre Pay Pay, who served as governor of the country's central bank when DRC was ruled by Sese Seko Mobutu.

    The results were compiled from provisional figures that were released by the Independent Electoral Commission on Friday, and mirror those of the country's first-round presidential election, in which Kabila won the most votes with Jean-Pierre Bemba, the vice president, in second place.

    Political transition

    Jean-Pierre Bemba, Kabila's rival,
    took second place with 100 seats

    The results complete a three-year period of political transition  that followed the vast central African country's five-year civil war from 1998 to 2003, which drew in six foreign armies and claimed more than three million lives.

    Jan Egeland, UN undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, said this week that he remained "very concerned" by the situation in DRC, parts of which were still violent.

    The situation in the capital, where the UN and EU peacekeepers are patrolling the streets, remained calm after the final results were announced.

    Deputies are due to take up their seats in parliament in 15  days.

    Kabila and Bemba are to face each other in a second round run-off that is scheduled to take place on October 29.
      
    The elections are to be followed by local polls, and are intended ultimately to lead to the re-building of the war-ravaged central African country.

    SOURCE: AFP


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