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UN: Too Early to Declare Winner Despite Early DRC Election Results

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VOA News - August 8, 2006

Elections officials counting votesA United Nations official in the Democratic Republic of Congo says its premature to declare a winner in last month's elections, despite the release of some early results.

U.N. representative Jean-Tobie Okala tells VOA Tuesday from Kinshasa that only three of 62 compilation stations have reported results indicating President Joseph Kabila overwhelmingly won in the eastern part of the country. Other early reports indicate that Vice President Jean-Pierre Bemba won in the west.

Congo's independent electoral commission could release preliminary national results as early as next week.

Okala says turnout was as high as 90 percent in some areas, as millions came out to vote in the country's first democratic election in nearly 40 years.

Voting was extended an extra day in some provinces after several polling stations were burned.

A run-off between the top two presidential candidates will be held October 29 if no one wins more than 50 percent of the vote.

President Joseph Kabila is widely expected to retain power, beating the more than 30 other candidates.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.


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