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Cablegate: Supreme Court Allows October 29 Dr Congo Election

VZCZCXRO4535
PP RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #1451 2581359
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 151359Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4794
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 001451

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KDEM KPKO CG ELECTIONS
SUBJECT: SUPREME COURT ALLOWS OCTOBER 29 DR CONGO ELECTION
DATE TO STAND

REF: KINSHASA 1438

1. (U) The DRC's Supreme Court ruled September 15 that the
October 29 date for the second-round presidential run-off
election can stand. Responding to a September 5 appeal filed
by the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI), the Court
declared that it is "technically impossible" to organize
elections in 15 days (as mandated by the constitution and
electoral law) due to logistical and materiel difficulties.
In addition, the Court said elections had to take place in a
way that was "properly prepared."

2. (U) The Court ruled that the CEI will have up to 50 days
to organize the elections from the time the first-round
results are officially confirmed. It rejected the CEI's
general argument that the logistical hurdles for election
preparations constituted a "force majeur" ("unforeseen
obstacle"). This decision overrides the Court,s September 13
advisory opinion which declared the October 29 date
"unconstitutional" (reftel). The Court's 50-day extension
gives the CEI until November 4 to hold the presidential and
provincial assembly elections.

3. (U) Separately, the Court rejected the eight challenges
that had contested the results of the first round of
presidential elections July 30. It thus confirmed that
transitional President Joseph Kabila won 44.8 percent of the
vote and Vice President Jean-Pierre Bemba 20.03 percent. The
decision paves the way for the CEI to undertake preparations
for the October 29 second-round presidential and provincial
assembly voting.
MEECE

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