19 September 2006

Secretary-General Welcomes Court Validation of Congolese Elections

NEW YORK, 18 September (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The Secretary-General welcomes last week's validation by the Supreme Court of Justice of the Democratic Republic of the Congo of the results of the first round of the presidential election held on 30 July.  This confirms that a second round will be contested by President Joseph Kabila and Vice-President Jean-Pierre Bemba.

The Secretary-General calls on the two candidates to adhere to the electoral calendar, which sets 29 October as the date both for the second presidential round and for the provincial assembly elections, and to reach an early agreement both on the rules of conduct for the electoral campaign and on mutual assurances for security and political engagement thereafter.   He also calls on all candidates and political parties to ensure that the 29 October elections are conducted in conditions of security, and are credible and transparent, and to respect the outcome.   Any incitement to hatred and violence during the electoral period is unacceptable, and anyone engaging in such activity must be held accountable.

The United Nations remains committed to provide all possible support to the Congolese people in holding peaceful and successful elections on 29 October.

* *** *