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Cablegate: Drc Elections: Eminent Persons Group Urges Calm

VZCZCXRO9780
PP RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #1278/01 2261406
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 141406Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4596
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KINSHASA 001278

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KDEM KPKO CG ELECTIONS
SUBJECT: DRC ELECTIONS: EMINENT PERSONS GROUP URGES CALM
DURING WAIT FOR RESULTS


1. (U) The International Committee of Wise Men ("Comite des
Sages") issued August 12 a declaration congratulating the
Congolese people and authorities for the calm and peaceful
manner in which the country's July 30 elections were held.
The Committee urged political candidates and the population
to respect the DRC's electoral law, reminding all that the
Independent Electoral Commission (CEI) is the sole
organization authorized to declare election results. The
Committee further appealed to all political actors to remain
patient while results are being compiled, and said that any
challenges to the election process should be presented to the
appropriate and competent authorities. The Committee reminded
the Congolese as well to consider the enormous challenges
facing the CEI in organizing the elections and to recognize
the difference between organized fraud and "imperfections" in
the electoral process. In addition, the Committee recommended
against anyone issuing misleading statements that could
undermine the security and well-being of the country and its
people.

2. (U) The International Committee of Wise Men, a group of
eminent persons created following an appeal by the DRC's five
transitional citizen institutions (the CEI, the High Media
Authority, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the
Commission on Ethics and the Fight Against Corruption, and
the National Observatory for Human Rights), is chaired by the
former President of Mozambique Joaquim Chissano. The
Committee's role is to support, through its moral authority,
the aforementioned institutions during the pre- and
post-election period, with the goals of restoring an
atmosphere of confidence and peace through the end of the
electoral process and of aiding the peaceful resolution of
potential election conflicts. The Committee was established
to provide advice (which has no legal standing) to any
political actors who wish to consult its members.

3. (U) Post's unofficial translation of the declaration from
the original French follows:

DECLARATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF WISE MEN

We, the International Committee of Wise Men, repeat our
congratulations to the population and Congolese authorities
for the holding of presidential and legislative elections
July 30, 2006. These historic elections took place with calm
and dignity following an electoral campaign of good quality.
They saw an exceptional level of participation and they were
saluted by the international community in its entirety
through the multiple international observers present in the
Congo.

Now is the time to wait for results. In this context, it is
of the highest importance that the people and the candidates,
conforming to the spirit that marked the electoral campaign
and the vote, continue to respect the different measures in
the electoral law, notably concerning the proclamation of
results. The announcement of results is the exclusive
responsibility of the Independent Electoral Commission and
their validation is solely the work of the Supreme Court.

According to the information received by the International
Committee of Wise Men, the announcement of results by the
Independent Electoral Commission will take place no later
than August 20, 2006, at the end of the centralization and
compilation of results obtained from nearly 50,000 polling
stations. It is a long and complex process. The Independent
Electoral Commission has now committed itself to keep the
public informed of the state of advancement of the counting
process.

While awaiting these results, the International Committee of
Wise Men appeals for calm and responsibility on the part of
everyone. It invites the population and the candidates not to
give any credence to various speculation.

Particularly concerning the candidates, the International
Committee of Wise Men would like to focus their attention on
the difference that can exist between electoral fraud and
imperfections or irregularities in a country the size of the
Democratic Republic of Congo, which is organizing for the
first time in decades voting operations of this size.

Moreover, if verifiable acts of fraud are known, the
International Committee of Wise Men recommends to
presidential and legislative candidates who would have
complaints to make, to do so through the competent

KINSHASA 00001278 002 OF 002


authorities, notably the Independent Electoral Commission.
The International Committee of Wise Men itself can be asked
consider the laws and regulations in effect in the Democratic
Republic of Congo by electoral candidates and by the
Institutions for the Support of Democracy. The Committee is
at the disposition of candidates and the competent
authorities in the DRC in order to help them find the best
solutions.

The International Committee of Wise Men recommends to all, in
the interest of the Congolese people and the future of the
country, not to do anything of a nature to mislead the
population and undermine the security of property and of
people.

We repeat our appeal to all political groups, to all civil
society organizations, and finally to all citizens of the
Democratic Republic of Congo to do everything to assure an
atmosphere of peace and calm in order to permit the
restoration of confidence between Congolese and the creation
of a consensus that can assure stability and the beginning of
national reconstruction. Let us think of the present and the
future of the children and of all those who live in extreme
poverty. Let us give them the opportunity to march
confidently towards a better future.

End text.
MEECE

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