[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 13 November 2006, 14:42 GMT
Kabila near to DR Congo victory
President Joseph Kabila and his nearest rival Jean-Pierre Bemba
Joseph Kabila (l) is leading Jean-Pierre Bemba (r)
Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila is close to winning the election run-off, with 90% of the votes counted, results show.

Mr Kabila has 60%, while former rebel leader Jean-Pierre Bemba has 40%, according to results on the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI) website.

Tension is high in the capital, Kinshasa, following weekend clashes in which four people were killed.

The vote is the first following DR Congo's five-year conflict.

The CEI is not declaring a winner until it investigates allegations of fraud by Mr Bemba and his supporters.

CEI spokesman Dieudonne Mirimo said Mr Bemba's party had now submitted five official complaints.

Kabila: 60%
Bemba: 40%
Turnout: 66%
Votes counted: 90%
Source: CEI

Following Saturday's violence, the police have arrested 337 homeless people, including 87 children, the government says, blaming them for starting the trouble.

Eye-witnesses say that security forces loyal to the two candidates exchanged gun- and mortar-fire.

United Nations observers say the election is the most significant in Africa since Nelson Mandela was elected as South Africa's president in 1994.

They are seen as the country's first free elections since independence in 1960.

Respect results

Turnout was 66%, according to the CEI.

The commission has until 19 November to announce the results and stresses that no "trend projection" can be made on the basis of the provisional results.

Troops loyal to Mr Bemba carry a wounded colleague
At least four people were killed in Saturday's clashes

Both men have pledged to respect the outcome of the election.

The first round of elections showed a regional divide, with Mr Kabila gaining a landslide in the Swahili-speaking east, while Mr Bemba got most support in the west, where Lingala is the common language.

The world's largest peacekeeping force - 17,000-strong - is in DR Congo, tasked with ensuring security.

At least 23 people were killed in gun battles between security forces loyal to the two men in the capital, Kinshasa, after the announcement of first round results.

Mr Kabila won 45% of the vote, while Mr Bemba got 20%.

International observers generally praised the vote as being well-run, despite some disruptions in the north-east of the country.

The election was intended to close the door on decades of dictatorship and conflict.

Counting the votes is a time-consuming process as all the ballot papers had to be transported from sometimes remote locations to compilation centres.

DR Congo is two-thirds the size of western Europe and has just 300 miles of paved roads.

The country's rich reserves of minerals such as gold, diamonds and coltan - used in mobile phones - have attracted a series of armed groups, both Congolese and foreign, intent on looting.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific