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Congo Supreme Court Validates October 29 Runoff Election Date


The Supreme Court in the Democratic Republic of Congo has validated October 29 as the date for a presidential runoff election.

The court issued a ruling Friday that effectively overturns its own decision of two days ago, when it said the October 29 date was unconstitutional.

Congo's constitution says a runoff must be held within 15 days after the first-round presidential election results are confirmed. But the country's electoral commission said it could not organize the vote that quickly. The DRC is a country of vast size and few modern transportation routes.

Results from the July 30 first-round election were officially confirmed just last Friday.

President Joseph Kabila and Vice President Jean-Pierre Bemba will face each other in the October 29 runoff.

Mr. Kabila won 45 percent of the vote in the first-round election July 30 - short of the majority needed to avoid the runoff.

Supporters of the two men fought gunbattles in the streets of Kinshasa last month, killing at least 23 people.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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