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New Assembly Hailed As ‘Remarkable Achievement’

DR Congo: Top UN Official Hails New Assembly As ‘Remarkable Achievement’

New York, Sep 22 2006 4:00PM

The new National Assembly of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the country’s first elected legislative body in more than four decades, was inaugurated today in what the top United Nations official there called a “remarkable achievement.”

Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative William Lacy Swing said the new lawmakers must play a key role in steering the country towards stability and economic recovery after a six-year civil war and he reiterated the UN’s commitment to assisting the Congolese people through this crucial and historic transition.

The Assembly was elected in the largest and most complex vote the UN has ever helped organize as part of a mission to cement the DRC’s transition from the disastrous war, which cost 4 million lives through fighting and attendant hunger and disease, widely considered the most lethal fighting in the world since World War II.

Other phases of the electoral process are still underway with the run-off presidential vote between President Joseph Kabila and Vice-President Jean-Pierre Bemba set for 29 October.

The Assembly is the first democratic institution to be installed under the new Constitution.


Ends

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