23 June 2005

Secretary-General Urges Government to Expedite Electoral Process in Democratic Republic of Congo

NEW YORK, 22 June (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The Secretary-General has taken note of the decision taken on 17 June jointly by the National Assembly and Senate of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to extend the transitional period for six months and welcomes the peaceful commencement of voter registration on 20 June in Kinshasa. This crucial step in the electoral process paves the way for the holding of elections in the DRC for the first time in 40 years.

The Secretary-General appeals to all the Congolese parties to respect the decision of their Parliamentary institutions to extend the transition, and to actively participate in the process in a peaceful manner.

The Secretary-General expects the holding of the constitutional referendum and elections to be in accordance with the electoral timetable published by the Independent Electoral commission. He also urges the Government of Transition and the Independent Electoral Commission to expedite the electoral process and to keep the Congolese population regularly informed, in a transparent manner, of all major developments in this crucial process for the future of their country.

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