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UN Security Council considers resolution on DR of Congo referendum, elections

11 August 2005 The United Nations Security Council met behind closed doors today to discuss a resolution put forward by France on the constitutional referendum and upcoming elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Council President for August said.

“The constitutional referendum is being prepared and elections are down the road,” the Permanent Representative of Japan, Ambassador Kenzo Oshima of Japan, which holds the Council’s rotating Presidency for the month, told journalists.

The UN Mission in DRC (MONUC) “is expected to play a useful role in assisting the political process and the electoral processes,” he added.

The resolution would now be discussed at the expert level and “hopefully it will be adopted at the earliest opportunity,” Mr. Oshima said.

The referendum on the constitution is scheduled to take place on 27 November. At a donors’ conference organized by the European Union (EU) in Belgium last month, MONUC chief William Lacy Swing appealed for up to $430 million to run the largest election the UN has ever helped to stage and the country's first in four decades, after years of civil war.

The total had to be raised from the $285 million proposed by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) because of the need, in a country with almost non-existent infrastructure, to airlift election materials to 166 polling stations and to put security in place at each site, MONUC said.

The elections were to have been held two years after the inauguration of the Transitional Government, which would have been by June 2005, but delays occurred in connection with the new constitution, new electoral law and the technical preparations for the polls.

 



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