Elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo scheduled for March 2006

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

FOR ORAL REPLY

QUESTION NO: 145

PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO 37 OF 1 NOVEMBER 2005

MR W.J. Seremane (DA) TO ASK THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS:

(1) Whether elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo, scheduled for March 2006, could spark mass violence owing to a lack of laws guaranteeing free and fair polls and good governance;

(2) If not, why not; if so, what steps will be taken to remedy the situation?
N2320E

REPLY:

(1) No. A legislative framework to ensure free and fair elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been established.

(2) The legislative framework for the electoral period includes a series of laws that have been adopted or are in the process of being finalised to ensure a credible and viable process. Required elements of the legal framework that are in place include the laws on the referendum, nationality and voter registration. The draft electoral law, determining the major rules of the organisation of elections, will be adopted after the constitutional referendum on 18 December 2005. The Draft Constitution, passed by Parliament on 13 May 2005, forms the foundation for a democratic electoral process. On 18 June 2005, 186 of the 221 registered political parties signed a code of conduct prepared by the DRC's Independent Electoral Commission, outlining the principles for conducting the electoral process in a transparent, equitable, credible and non-violent manner. The referendum for the constitution is scheduled for December.

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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa