Thursday, August 17, 2006

Kinshasa Vote May Lead to Run-Off

As the votes finally come in from Kinshasa, it appears that a run-off may occur in the Congo. With one of four districts reporting from Kinshasa, Kabila's lead has slipped below 50 percent to 48.6 percent and Bemba remains around 16 percent.

Each district that reports from Kinshasa will surely reduce Kabila's percentage and bring him further away from the 50 percent needed to claim the elections in the first round. Thus far a little over 13 million or 52% of the votes have been counted. Kinshasa accounts for 12 percent of the total registered voters of 25 million. Many experts believe that 80 percent of Kinshasa voters turned out.

Should these results hold, a second round will certainly occur which would mean that the pro-democracy forces initiative of the "Tous-Sauf-Kabila" in English "Anyone-but-Kabila," campaign would have succeeded to date.

Almost, all observers would agree that a second round would work in the best interest of the Congolese people and lend far more credibility to the process. Should there be a second round, it would occur on October 29, 2006, according to the latest schedule by the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI).


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