Interim Prime Minister Nicephore Soglo held an early lead over President Mathieu Kerekou Monday in partial election returns.

Interior Ministry officials gave Soglo 36.7 percent of votes with 60 percent of the results in, compared with 26.14 percent for Kerekou. Final results were expected Thursday.Kerekou, who had been forced to abandon his Marxist dictatorship because of strikes and riots, had taken a surprise early lead in the voting. But his edge apparently was based on ballots from his native northern region. When votes from the capital, Cotonou, were announced, Soglo surged ahead.