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Learning English - Words in the News
31 July, 2006 - Published 11:46 GMT
D.R. Congo elections
Counting votes

Counting of votes has begun in the Democratic Republic of Congo following Sunday's UN-supported post-war elections. The UN said it was pleased with the generally peaceful manner in which polling took place, but some presidential candidates have already made unofficial complaints. This report from Mark Doyle:

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UN officials said they were pleased with the election and that even in areas where militia activity has continued despite the peace agreement, voting went ahead largely peacefully. The UN officials said no clear turnout figures were available, but that it appeared that turnout had been substantial.

There were some isolated incidents of violence in the capital and elsewhere, but the potentially most serious aspect of the day was that some major presidential candidates, including two of the former warlords, have already cried foul. Supporters of the rebel leader Jean-Pierre Bemba were circulating in the streets of Kinshasa, saying they had been cheated.

An official from one of the other parties associated with a former warlord said his party would also be lodging complaints. The voting may be over -- but the political and military tension in a country that has not seen free elections for generations remains high.

Full official results are not expected for several weeks. UN officials say this is because some of the polling stations are so remote, the ballot papers will have to be returned to counting centres by foot, bicycle or dugout canoe.

Mark Doyle, BBC News, Kinshasa

Listen to the words

a military force, usually raised from the civil population

the number of people who have taken part in the voting


some isolated incidents
a few cases

military commanders

cried foul
bitterly complained

submitting, putting forward

a strained political or social state

far away

dugout canoe
a canoe made from a hollowed tree-trunk

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