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Africa

Kabila party leads Tshisekedi in DRC parliamentary poll

media Etienne Tshisekedi's UDPS trailing Kabila's party in November polls AFP PHOTO/GWENN DUBOURTHOUMIEU

Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila's party is leading the race for parliamentary seats, after a provisional overnight tally of votes cast in November polls. Kabila's PPRD party has captured 58 of the 432 seats counted so far in the 500-seat parliament.

 

Second place was opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi's UDPS, with 34 seats. The UDPS had boycotted the 2006 polls, and its leader has denounced the 28 November elections as flawed.

Among parties allied to the PPRD, four have obtained between a dozen and over twenty parliamentary seats, while in the opposition camp only two parties has achieved such numbers so far.

In total, almost 19,000 candidates vied at the polls for 500 seats in the National Assembly of the DRC, a huge central African country that was wracked by two wars from 1997 to 2003.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, Ceni, is expected to unveil the remaining figures on Monday.   Electoral candidates and observer groups have charged that polling and vote-counting was chaotic, while candidates have been vocal in their criticism of the polls.

The CENI announced overnight that it had sought the annulation of elections in seven of the 169 voting districts due to incidents of violence or other interference.

It would also recommend the prosecution of about 15 candidates accused of violence.

CENI came under heavy criticism in December when it announced the results of the presidential poll, which was held on the same day as the parliamentary elections.

It gave victory to outgoing president Joseph Kabila, who first came to office in 2001 and was elected in the first post-war elections in 2006. He defeated Tshisekedi, who rejected the results and pronounced himself president-elect on 24 December..
 

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