Legislative election results in DR Congo expected any time, says UN mission

25 August 2006

Parliamentary election results from last month’s historic balloting in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) could be released as soon as today, according to the UN mission in that country.

Jean-Tobie Okala, a deputy spokesman for the mission, known by its French acronym MONUC, told the UN News Centre today that the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is expected to release results from the 30 July election at any time.

The results of the presidential poll were already announced on Sunday, sparking deadly violence between supporters of the two candidates, who will now take part in a run-off election on 29 October. President Joseph Kabila received 45 per cent of the vote, while Vice-President Jean Pierre Bemba won 20 per cent.

Life in the DRC’s capital Kinshasa has returned to normal after the outbreak of violence, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters at UN Headquarters in New York today. A ceasefire between the camps of Mr. Kabila and Mr. Bemba remains in effect, and negotiations to defuse the remaining tensions continue.

Mr. Okala said the next step is for the two candidates to sign a joint statement promising the run-off election will be free, fair and conducted without violence.

“For the stability of the country, they need to do something,” even if it is just shaking hands before the cameras, he said. “They need that gesture.”

The polls represented the largest-ever election support project by the UN, and were the first free elections in the DRC in 45 years. Millions of voters went to some 50,000 polling stations to cast their votes.

 

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