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DR Congo: UN Announces Campaign Dates

DR Congo: UN Announces Campaign Dates For 2nd Round Of Presidential Election

New York, Sep 20 2006 2:00PM

Campaigning for the run-off presidential election in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) between President Joseph Kabila and Vice-President Jean-Pierre Bemba will take place from 13 to 27 October in the second phase of the largest and most complex vote the United Nations has ever helped organize.

Campaigning for the provincial elections will run from 28 September to 27 October, the UN Mission in the DRC (MONUC) announced.

The elections, the first round of which was held in July, are the vast country’s first free elections in 45 years and are intended to cement its transition from a disastrous civil war. The six-year conflict cost 4 million lives through fighting and attendant hunger and disease, widely considered the most lethal fighting in the world since World War II.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative in the DRC, William Lacy Swing, has commended Congolese police and UN peacekeepers for their “prompt and salutary intervention” to contain yesterday’s violent rally by Mr. Bemba’s supporters, who were apparently angered by a fire that destroyed a building housing two television stations owned by their leaῤer in Kinshasa, the capital.

MONUC has some 18,000 uniformed personnel in the country to help promote peace and reconciliation in the country.

Ends

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