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Republic of Congo holds legislative by-elections
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21:46, July 16, 2007

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The Republic of Congo has held by-elections in the 14 constituencies where the first round of legislative elections failed to take place on June 24, 2007 owing to irregularities.

The by-elections, which took place Sunday in Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire and Kouilou, were generally held in a peaceful atmosphere despite the fact that some polling stations turned several voters away saying their names could not be traced in the voter registers.

"This time round, all measures were put in place to ensure that the elections were held under the best possible circumstances," Henri Bouka, president of the National Commission for the Organization of Elections (CONEL), told the press in a telephone interview.

"Everything is going on fine as no problem has been reported so far," Jean Dany Ebouel, a returning officer at one polling station in Brazzaville, told reporters.

Speaking on July 12, three days before these polls, Republic of Congo's President Denis Sassou Nguesso assured the country that he would issue a presidential decree fixing an appropriate date for holding the second round of these elections, which was initially scheduled to be held on July 22, 2007.

"After the successful completion of these repeat elections, we will organize the second round in the same manner. An appropriate date will be fixed for the second round of voting," the president said.

Out of the 137 parliamentary seats, which are vacant in the national assembly, only 46 managed to get representatives during the first round of the legislative elections on July 24, 2007.

Source: Xinhua

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