Tuesday, November 07, 2006

CEI Releases More Results - Kabila and Bemba Meet Behind Closed Doors

The Independent Electoral Commission (CEI in French) released more results today. The latest results has Kabila still in the lead with 69.68 percent of the votes and Bemba with 30.32 based on 11.2 percent of the ballots counted. Although only 11 percent of the results have been released, the CEI has tabulated 71 percent of the votes thus far. The turnout remains lower than the first round at approximately 65 percent. It is still too early to tell who will win. All indications are that the final results will be close.

The CEI has taken extra precaution in releasing the results by allowing both candidates to verify the numbers before they are released. Both Kabila and Bemba have their own system of tabulation in place. Thus far there are no major disputes in the numbers that have been released by the CEI.

Also, today Kabila and Bemba met behind closed doors. Neither candidate commented on the meeting that took place at the presidential palace. Both men smiled and shook hands in front of the media (Click here to view footage (FRENCH). Both men have been under enormous pressure from other African leaders and the international community to make sure that the fighting that occurred after the announcement of the first round results in August does not occur this time. Later on Tuesday, they released a joint statement which called on "the whole population to remain calm, to respect the institutions and the laws of the republic and to refrain from acts of provocation or violence".

One interesting note about the meeting is that it occurred without the knowledge of Bemba's coalition the Union for the Nation. The members of the Union for the Nation were quite angry that such a meeting took place without any notice from Bemba. A meeting of the Union National scheduled for Wednesday morning was cancelled.


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