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Last Updated: Monday, 5 April, 2004, 08:44 GMT 09:44 UK
Ex-rulers win Guinea-Bissau poll
PAIGC supporters at rally before the election
The PAIGC nearly doubled its number of seats
Guinea-Bissau has announced preliminary results of last week's general election, which has brought victory for the former ruling party.

Electoral commission head Higinio Cardoso said the PAIGC had won, but without a majority in parliament.

The party, which fought Portuguese rule and led the country for 26 years after independence in the 1970s, nearly doubled its number of seats.

The poll was marred by reports that Mr Cardoso had offered his resignation.

In a letter to the ruling National Transitional Council (CNT), he said he had been under strong pressure and received death threats from people who did not want the results of the 28-30 March election published.

Results challenge

The PAIGC, or African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde, ruled the country from independence in 1974 until a civil war in the late 1990s.

The Social Renewal Party (PRS) of the deposed former president, Kumba Yala, took second place in the election.

PAIGC - 45
PRS - 35
Social Democrat United Party - 17
Electoral Union - 2
United Popular Alliance - 1
Two seats for expatriates vacant
Kumba Yala was ousted in a military coup last September.

The party's interim leader, Alberto Na Mbeia, has vowed to challenged the results of the election, saying it was rigged, with names deliberately left off the electoral lists. He has 48 hours to contest the result.

"We will not let them wrench our victory out of our hands," he told AFP news agency.

International observers, of whom there are more than 100 in the country, have described the elections as fair.

But there were delays in the scheduled opening of the polls on 28 March, which resulted in voting being extended for two days.

Political parties expressed concern over the credibility of the process, but have accepted the delays.

The winning party will replace the interim government nominated after the military coup - although caretaker President Henrique Rosa is due to remain in power until presidential elections in 2005.

Confusion at Guinea Bissau poll
30 Mar 04  |  Africa
New Bissau PM 'rejected'
23 Sep 03  |  Africa
Q&A: Guinea-Bissau coup
14 Sep 03  |  Africa
Guinea-Bissau 'back to normal'
15 Sep 03  |  Africa
Country profile: Guinea-Bissau
09 Mar 04  |  Country profiles

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