Annan urges all parties in the DR Congo to abide by the electoral law; respect poll results

21 August 2006

Welcoming the weekend announcement of provisional election results from last month’s landmark polls in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged all Congolese parties to abide by the electoral law and to “accept and respect” the final results of the elections.

“The Secretary-General welcomes the announcement…by the Independent Electoral Commission of the provisional results of the presidential election, which was held together with national assembly elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo on 30 July,” he said in a statement attributable to his spokesman.

Describing the elections as a “vital step in the long process of peace consolidation,” Mr. Annan acknowledged that major challenges lay ahead, but called on the Congolese parties and candidates to “abide by the electoral law in the resolution of any disputes related to the electoral process.”

“He also urges them to accept and respect the final results of the elections, in a spirit of peace and reconciliation, when they are announced by the Independent Electoral Commission,” the statement said.

Mr. Annan also reiterated the UN’s commitment to supporting the people of Congo in their efforts to achieve lasting stability and democracy throughout the country, as well as sustained economic development.

In related news, the UN mission in the DRC (known by its French acronym, MONUC) acknowledged the provisional results and today commended the massive participation of the Congolese people in July’s historic polls, which were the first in the country in 45 years.

However MONUC also reports that the situation in the capital Kinshasa remains volatile following clashes yesterday between armed guards for the two leading candidates, President Joseph Kabila and Vice-President Jean-Pierre Bemba, who are scheduled for a run-off on 29 October, a UN spokesman told reporters in New York.

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General, William Lacy Swing, is currently negotiating a dialogue between President Kabila and Mr. Bemba, the spokesman added.