Congo opposition party claims fraud in presidential election Jaime Jansen at 11:59 AM ET
[JURIST] The Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD) [party website, in French; Wikipedia backgrounder], an opposition group and former rebel group, on Tuesday alleged widespread election fraud in Sunday's election [AP report], and threatened to challenge the election in court if the results are not fixed. The RCD noted cases of ballot stuffing and biased election officials during the poll - the first democratic presidential election in 40 years - saying that Rwandan Hutu rebels [BBC backgrounder] interfered with the election to garner more votes for Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila [BBC profile]. Azarias Ruberwa [Wikipedia profile], the RCD presidential candidate, also accused Kabila's party of bribing voters and threatened to bring his case to the Supreme Court.
Though election officials have asked the candidates not to claim a preliminary victory while officials count the votes, presidential candidate Jean-Pierre Bemba [Wikipedia profile] told reporters that his party had a strong lead in six of the country's eleven provinces, while Kabila supporters in the town of Bakavu began to celebrate a Kabila victory. Official results are due by August 20 [AllAfrica.com report]. Reuters has more. BBC News has additional coverage.
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