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Voters Support Interim Leader

President Fabian Alarcon won a powerful endorsement Sunday in a national referendum on his interim government, according to exit polls.

Alarcon replaced President Abdala Bucaram in February after Bucaram was removed from office by Congress for “mental incapacity.”

Exit polls released shortly after voting ended showed 74 percent of voters supporting Alarcon’s appointment as interim president until August 1998. Only 20 percent opposed his presidency, according to results from the private polling firm Cedatos broadcast on television.

Voters also backed Congress’ decision to remove Bucaram from office for “mental incapacity,” with 65 percent supporting the decision and 28 percent opposing it.

Final official results will not be known for 10 days.

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