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Congo criticizes Catholic church over election statements

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KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Congo’s election commission is scolding the Catholic church for saying its data show a clear winner in Sunday’s presidential election, asserting that the announcement could incite an “uprising.”

The church, a powerful voice in the heavily Catholic nation, on Thursday called on the electoral commission to publish the true results in “respect of truth and justice.”

The church deployed some 40,000 electoral observers. It cannot say publicly who the clear winner appears to be, as Congo’s electoral regulations forbid anyone but the electoral commission to announce results.

Congo’s ruling party on Friday called the church’s attitude “irresponsible and anarchist.”

International pressure is growing on Congo to restore internet service and release accurate election results, while some Congolese express doubt that the first results will be released on Sunday as expected.

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