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DR Congo Vote Count on Schedule, Says UN Mission

DR Congo Vote Count on Schedule, Says UN Mission There

New York, Aug 14 2006 6:00PM

The counting of the ballots from last month’s historic elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is ahead of schedule, and results of the presidential race should be available in less than a week, according to the UN Mission in that country (MONUC), which is advising the Congolese people to disregard media speculation on the outcome.

The mission says that the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), the sole authority permitted to release the vote total, has counted 90 per cent of the ballots from the 30 July elections. Nonetheless, the IEC will not be able to issue provisional results before the originally scheduled deadline of 20 August, the mission reports.

In an interview with MONUC, Dieudonné Mirmi, the first reporter of the IEC, stressed how important it was for the Congolese people to remain patient in the meantime, and to disregard the results that appear daily in the local media.

“These are partial results and one should not speculate or extrapolate from these data,” said Mr. Mirmi.

Meanwhile, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for the DRC, William Lacy Swing, welcomed former Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano in Kinshasa yesterday. Mr. Chissano is serving as Chairman of the International Committee of the Wise, a UN-backed advisory group on the Congolese elections.

In an interview with MONUC, Mr. Chissano said he believed the elections had been successful, citing the strong turnout and high level of enthusiasm among the Congolese people.

“They recognized the value of the vote, and they recognized this as their right, but they also wanted to participate in choosing their leaders,” he said.

In a statement, Chissano and his fellow members of the Committee called on the Congolese to remain calm and patient while the ballot counting continues.

During the largely peaceful elections, millions of voters went to some 50,000 polling stations to choose from among 32 candidates for president and more than 9,000 candidates for the National Assembly.


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