Kabila and Bemba Face off in Second Round: The First Round of Voting in Presidential Elections in Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) Failed to Produce an Outright Winner and So a Second Round of Polling Will Be Required. the Country, and Africa, Waits with Bated Breath. Report by Neil Ford
Ford, Neil, African Business
Although the incumbent, Joseph Kabila, held a large lead over his nearest rival and took 45% of the vote, he failed to secure an absolute majority and must now face a run-off in the presidential election.
The publication of the results triggered violence in Kinshasa but it is hoped that the new round of campaigning will pass off peace-fully, as the Central African state struggles to re-establish itself as a viable and stable nation.
Kabila's opponent in the presidential run off will be Jean-Pierre Bemba, who serves as one of the country's vice-presidents in the current government of national unity and formerly led one of the factions in DR Congo's civil war.
Bemba secured 20% of the votes overall and proved the most popular candidate in most of western DR Congo, including around Kinshasa. Antoine Gizenga came third, with 13%, and won more votes than anyone else in provinces immediately to the east of Kinshasa. The other main candidates, Nzanga Mobutu and Oscar Kashala, secured 5% and 4% of the vote respectively. Turn-out was relatively healthy at 70%, in what was the country's first democratic election for 40 years.
Some incidents of polling irregularities were uncovered and European Union observers revealed that some ballot boxes had been burnt in Kinshasa, but the international community believes that the result will …
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Publication information: Article title: Kabila and Bemba Face off in Second Round: The First Round of Voting in Presidential Elections in Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) Failed to Produce an Outright Winner and So a Second Round of Polling Will Be Required. the Country, and Africa, Waits with Bated Breath. Report by Neil Ford. Contributors: Ford, Neil - Author. Magazine title: African Business. Issue: 324 Publication date: October 2006. Page number: 48+. © 2009 IC Publications Ltd. COPYRIGHT 2006 Gale Group.