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Extend transition, polls body urges parliament

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KINSHASA, 29 Apr 2005 (IRIN) - The Democratic Republic of Congo's electoral commission asked parliament on Thursday to extend the government's transition to democratic rule beyond June 2005 as scheduled, an official told IRIN.

"The two chambers of parliament will determine the duration of the extension sought, in conformity with the [country's] constitution," Dieudonne Mirimo, the spokesman for the Independent Electoral Commission, said on Thursday in the capital, Kinshasa.

The transitional government was installed in June 2003 following an agreement between Congolese parties and former rebel movements.

Mirimo said the extension of the transition was justified because the adoption and the promulgation of a post-transition constitution and electoral laws were not in place.

Last week, the commission announced that voter identification and registration would start in June, after the testing of electoral equipment.

"We noted that it is the political unwillingness which dictated the request for this extension because the election organisers spent two years doing nothing, Jean-Baptist Bonanza, the national secretary of the l'Union pour la democratie et le progrès social, said.

However, the commission said the delay was due to the parliament's and government's slow pace of enacting certain laws as a result of financial, logistic and security problems.


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