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Monday, 27 May, 2002, 14:42 GMT 15:42 UK
Violence, fraud mars Congo poll

Voting in parliamentary elections in Congo Brazzaville has been postponed where Sunday's poll was disrupted.

Incidents were reported in at least 12 constituencies in the capital, Brazzaville, the second city, Pointe-Noire, and in the central town of Gamboma.

Militiaman surrounded by dead bodies
Many people were killed or displaced during the last war
In other areas, counting is continuing and results are expected later on Monday or Tuesday.

Fighting with so-called "Ninja" militias continued over the week-end and the army has announced that it has captured the "Ninja" headquarters of Vindza in the Pool region.

The clashes between the army and "Ninja" fighters loyal to Frederic Bitsangou, also known as Reverend Ntumi prevented voting in eight of the 14 constituencies of the Pool region.

No date has yet been set for the new elections, the chairman of the National Electoral Commission, Charles Emile Apesse, said.

Fraud

Mr Apesse said that elections would take place in a district in the north of Brazzaville, Talangai, where voters took away or damaged ballot boxes.

Attempts at fraud were also reported.

There will also be a re-run in a constituency in Ouenze, another district in the north of Brazzaville, where people were unable to cast their vote because the logos of some candidates were missing from ballot papers.

In other constituencies, some voters did not find their names on electoral lists.

Late

In Gamboma, in the centre of the country, the electoral commission interrupted voting when it discovered that the identity papers of some voters had been delivered in dubious circumstances.

In Pointe-Noire, the election will have to be re-run because voting was delayed by the late delivery of electoral equipment.

President Denis Sassou-Nguesso
The opposition boycotted Sassou-Nguesso's re-election

On Sunday 1,204 candidates took part in the first round of the election to fill the 137 seats of the future national assembly.

The official results from the areas where voting was completed are expected to be released on Monday evening or Tuesday.

In March, President Denis Sassou Nguesso won an overwhelming victory in the presidential race.

Mr Sassou Nguesso had been widely expected to win after his main challenger, Andre Milongo, withdrew, alleging electoral fraud.

The Congolese authorities have organised the presidential and parliamentary elections in an attempt to seal the fragile peace that followed the civil war of 1998 and 1999.

However, fighting broke out again in March, causing thousands to flee their homes.

See also:

16 May 02 | Africa
10 Apr 02 | Africa
02 Apr 02 | Africa
12 Mar 02 | Africa
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10 Mar 02 | Africa
22 Feb 02 | Africa
27 Mar 02 | Country profiles
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