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Cablegate: October 29 Remains Likely Second-Round Drc

VZCZCXRO3277
PP RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #1438 2571417
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 141417Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4777
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 KINSHASA 001438

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KDEM KPKO CG ELECTIONS
SUBJECT: OCTOBER 29 REMAINS LIKELY SECOND-ROUND DRC
ELECTION DAY, DESPITE COURT RULING

REF: KINSHASA 1406

1. (U) The DR Congo Supreme Court of Justice ruled September
13 that the October 29 date set by the Independent Electoral
Commission (CEI) for the second round presidential run-off
election was unconstitutional. Citing the new constitution
approved by voters in December, 2005 the Court declared that
the second round of elections must be held within 15 days of
the first, although it did not specify from what point that
deadline would be counted. It is generally assumed the 15
days begins from the date the Court validates the first-round
presidential results, which it has not yet done.

2. (U) The Court's decision does not mean that the debate
over when the next round of elections will be held is over.
As reported reftel, the CEI introduced its own appeal before
the Court September 5 asking for an extension of the time
period to organize elections based on "unforeseen obstacles."
The Court is still deliberating; CEI officials expect it to
rule as soon as September 14. CEI spokesman Dieudonne Mirimo
said he was "confident" the Court would grant the additional
time echoing what CEI President Malu Malu told VOA after the
decision. If the Court accepts the CEI's argument, the
October 29 date for the second round would stand. CEI
officials continue to maintain, though, that it is
logistically and financially impossible to hold elections any
sooner than that.

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3. (SBU) Comment: We believe it unlikely that the October 29
run-off date will change. The Court is expected to grant the
CEI's appeal, and the Commission has made it clear that under
no circumstances can it hold elections any sooner. President
Kabila plans to travel to New York for the UNGA, providing a
clear sign that the Presidency does not believe the
second-round elections are imminent. End comment.
MEECE

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