DRC scraps second round for Presidential contests


The Democratic Republic of Congo has scrapped the second round normally required for a Presidential election.

 With a second round all but the top two candidates would be removed and a second round contest would then take place with the winner taking more than 50% of the vote.  The new rule means that in the first round the candidate with the most votes will win regardless of the percentage they have received.

The move should make it easier for incumbent President Joseph Kabila to win in the 27th November 2011 elections.

The reasons cited for the change are reducing the costs of elections and more peaceful elections.  This will spark intense debate in the opposition parties about whether they put up a joint candidate against President Kabila or each stand and risk diluting the anti-Kabila vote.

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