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Security Council praises Congolese poll, urges presidential candidates to honour results

Security Council praises Congolese poll, urges presidential candidates to honour results

Security Council members today praised the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for last month’s second round of elections and urged the two presidential candidates to honour the results, the body’s president for this month said.

Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Marie Guéhenno briefed the 15-member body earlier today on the latest situation in the DRC and afterwards Council President for November, Ambassador Jorge Voto-Bernales of Peru, reaffirmed the UN’s commitment to the country.

“Basically… the first reaction [of Council members] is to congratulate the people of DRC, to hail the successful holding of elections in an essentially peaceful environment, the high turnout,” he told reporters, referring to the 29 October run-off poll between President Joseph Kabila and Vice-President Jean-Pierre Bemba. Neither candidate secured an overall majority in the first round in July.

“There is a strong message of the members to the two candidates to honour their declaration of intent about the acceptance of the results which will be coming in a few days,” he added.

“And a renewed commitment of the members and the UN institutions to assist the DRC in the reconstruction of their country and their institutions in order to enable that society to reach democratic governance and move the country into economic progress and stability.”

In a related development, the UN Mission in the DRC (MONUC) reports that polling stations re-opened today in the town of Bumba in Equator Province and in the Ituri district town of Fataki, where voting was suspended last Sunday after a Congolese soldier shot to death two electoral workers.

The security situation all across the vast country remains calm, MONUC says, adding that vote counting is continuing without any major incidents and reports from various parts of the country suggest that compared to the July general elections, there is a significant improvement in the organization of ballot-counting.

MONUC also said that the Independent Electoral Commission had dismissed as a fraud a document posted on the Internet purporting to present the results of the run-off presidential election. The Commission warns against further efforts to disrupt the process and stresses that provisional results will be made public on 12 November and the final results on 19 November.