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UPDATED: 11:40, January 21, 2007
Former DR Congo vice president wins seat in Senate
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Former Democratic Republic of Congo vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba, who lost in his bid for the country's presidency last year, secured a seat in the Senate, poll results showed on Saturday.

Bemba, who was defeated by incumbent President Joseph Kabila in the Oct. 29 presidential run-off, won a seat in the 108-member Senate, becoming one of eight senators representing the capital. A total of 1,124 candidates competed in the election.

The former rebel leader joined the transition government of the Democratic Republic of Congo in July 2003 and served as one of four vice presidents.

During the presidential run-off in the war-torn central African country last year, Bemba grabbed 42 percent of the ballots, as against 58 percent for Kabila. Bemba then vowed to play the role of a "staunch political rival" on the country's political stage.

In August-November 2006, soldiers loyal to Bemba clashed with government forces and police in Kinshasa three times, and dozens of people were killed and injured.

The newly-elected senators are scheduled to convene their first meeting on Feb. 3.

Source: Xinhua

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