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Congolese authorities have been persuaded by envoys from countries, with South Africa playing a leading role, to start releasing interim results in the DRC elections from Tuesday.
In the tense capital, "the climate was being poisoned" by claims from political parties and candidates and the radio and TV stations they owned, SA's ambassador in Kinshasa, Sisa Ngombane, said on Sunday.
"We told the CEI (the DRC's electoral commission) it would be impossible not to say anything on the results."
He and other envoys had a meeting with the CEI and editors from local media to discuss the release of interim results, as the process threatened to break down due to chaos at so-called compilation centres.
The Committee of Wise Men, led by former Mozambican president Joaquim Chissano, had also been having meetings with the top presidential contenders and leaders of former rebel factions in the armed forces in order to avoid the circulation of false claims.
Ballot papers had been burnt, others were dumped on rubbish heaps and lax security allowed members of the public to come and go at the centres as they pleased.
Election day went off smoothly, despite widespread problems with the voters roll, and counting at the about 53 000 polling stations also went well.
But chaos at many of the 62 compilation centres would make re-counts very difficult, and allow spoilers to delay a final verdict indefinitely.
This might not affect the presidential race, where a second round on October 29 between Jean-Pierre Bemba and incumbent President Joseph Kabila looks certain - but could dump the appointment of 500 National Assembly members into permanent uncertainty.
Ngombane said the CEI had planned for a release of the results on August 20. But they were persuaded to publicise the already collated presidential results as soon as they reached 20 percent of the vote - and even to announce voter trends.
A number of provincial centres are said to have finished their compilations. The move by the envoys remains a gamble, because indications are that Kabila had won in the eastern parts of the vast country.
Announcements on his victories could raise temperatures in Kinshasa, where anti-Kabila rallies and unrest claimed at least six lives in the week before the July 30 elections.
Meanwhile, most members of the SA observer mission had returned home by Monday. The mission concluded in an interim report that on the whole the campaign period and elections themselves took place in a credible, peaceful and democratic way.