108-Member South African Observer Mission will on Saturday, 21 October 2006 depart for the Democratic Republic of Congo ahead of the 29 October 2006 Presidential and Provincial Elections

Kinshasa - The 108-member South African Observer Mission will on Saturday, 21 October 2006, depart for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) ahead of the Congolese Presidential and Provincial elections scheduled to take place on 29 October 2006.

The South African Observer Mission's participation in overseeing the second round of the historic DRC democratic elections is within the context of South Africa's commitment to resolving conflicts on the African continent and establishing democratic institutions.

In this regard, the South African Observer Mission will from 21 October to 2 November 2006 observe all phases of the elections, including election campaigns, the voting process and the counting of votes.

The South African Observer Mission, the largest ever to be dispatched by the South African government, will be deployed in all the eleven (11) provinces in the DRC.

The South African Observer Mission comprises of Members of Parliament, government officials, representatives of civil society (including women and youth), business people, religious leaders, trade unionists and individual South Africans with experience in observing elections.

The South African government has again given the responsibility of leading the South African observer mission to Deputy Defence Minister Mluleki George, who also led the mission during the 30 July elections. The presidential elections will be contested by the current President Joseph Kabila and Vice President Jean Pierre Bemba.

Ends

For enquiries please contact the Department of Foreign Affairs' media contact person in the DRC, Mr Vincent Hlongwane, on +27 82 385 1169.

Issued by the South African Observer Mission

South African Embassy in DRC
Kinshasa
Democratic Republic of Congo

20 October 2006


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