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Congo presidential hopeful files high court election challenge

[JURIST] Democratic Republic of Congo [JURIST news archive] Vice President Jean-Pierre Bemba [campaign website, in French; Wikipedia profile] filed an anticipated challenge [JURIST report] to the results of last month's presidential run-off election [JURIST report] in the country's Supreme Court Saturday. Congolese military personnel and UN peacekeeping forces surrounded the high court building in downtown Kinshasa as a precaution against rioting. Officials announced Wednesday that Bemba lost the election to incumbent Joseph Kabila [BBC profile; PPRD party website, in French] by 16 percentage points. The challenge alleges seven different violations including ballot-box stuffing, irregularities in voter turnout, and the barring of election officials from some polling places.

Voting fraud [JURIST report] has been an issue [JURIST report] throughout the election. Over 30 people have died [NYT report] in election-related violence since the initial poll July 30. Reuters has more.

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