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IEC: Everyone must respect the democratic process, so that we can organise the forthcoming elections

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Monuc - August 25, 2006 1:05 PM

Malumlau

With the imminent publication of partial DRC legislative election results, scheduled for this Friday August 25, we spoke to Independent Electoral Commission President Fr. Malu Malu, to get his views on the recent unrest and the current state of the electoral process in the DRC.

INTERVIEW

What are your thoughts on the recent unrest in Kinshasa?
We condemn what has happened, and hope that it is the last time. It cannot be accepted, and any Congolese in his or her right mind could not consider that what happened was normal. Thus we condemn this in the strongest terms.

The country and the Congolese people have expressed their will in the clearest possible way, and their choice needs to be accepted. We appeal to the common sense of one and all so that these events do not reoccur. We all need to concentrate on the organisation of elections that are free, democratic and transparent.

We condemn the recent unrest in the strongest possible way

What we ask of everyone is that the media, army and all who are responsible for the security of this process, including the public themselves, behave in a responsible manner.

We must also be vigilant to ensure that there is peace, tolerance and respect for one and all. Everyone must respect  the democratic process, so that we can organise the rest of the elections.

You just had a meeting with the members of the CIAT. What was the aim of this meeting?
We talked about the state of affairs of the electoral process, as well as political and security issues relating to it at present.

We also discussed the current compilations stage of the legislative elections, and the perspective in relation to the organization of the second round of the presidential and provincial elections.

We spoke about the problems that concern all of us, including the role of the media, and the role that the army should play in the electoral process.

These are the obvious questions that must be resolved to permit the elections to be conducted in the best possible conditions, and which conforms to the will of the Congolese people.

We will announce partial legislative results from Friday August 24

Their will was demonstrated through their voter registration, and their participation in the constitutional referendum and the first round of presidential and legislative elections. There was a 70% participation in the last elections, and this is a strong message for all the Congolese elite, who must accept the will of the people.

You have published the provisional results of the presidential election. When will the results of the legislative elections be announced?
As you know, we have already announced that the publication of the legislative election results will commence just after the publication of the presidential elections, and we will announce all of these before September 4. The calendar will be respected, just as we have respected the first electoral calendar for the presidential elections.

From Friday August 24, if the conditions permit, we will begin to announce the partial results of the legislative elections, as the results come in from the local results compilation centres.

Is the budget for the second round already secured?
The Independent Electoral Commission, like the Democratic Republic of Congo, were able to mobilize funds on an internal level, but they were not sufficient.

We had the help of friends who accepted to assist us in relation to technical issues, as well as finance and materials. The mobilization of this support continues, and it is going well. The UNDP estimated that we need an additional 45 million dollars to go forward, and we are sure that there is nothing to fear in this regard.

What is the position of the IEC following the declaration of President Kabila to hold the second round 15 days after the official publication of the results?
One should consider article 71 of the constitution, and article 114 of the electoral law, as well as articles 108 and 110 of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), which stipulate that a second round must take place within 15 days of the official publication of results.

The congolese elite must accept the will of the people

But there are also two elements in particular that must guide us. The first element is the publication of the final official results, and the second element is the official publication of the list of the two candidates by the Independent Electoral Commission for the second round.

This issue must be addressed by everyone together, but it must also be articulated in relation to the question of materials, logistics, finance, and the reality on the ground before deciding what to do.

We have to evaluate in what realistic manner can we organise the elections, and the Supreme Court is to speak on this issue. I believe that what we can recommend is that all the principle concerns in relation to the organisation of the elections – in terms of finance, logistics, politics and others – should be discussed together at the same table.

We can then see what road we can take, in relation to the decision that has already been taken by the IEC to organise the second round of presidential elections on October 29, at the same time as the provincial elections.

Do you fear for your own security?
Security is not an issue for me alone. Security is an issue for all Congolese people, because life is sacred. You need to pose the question, do the Congolese fear for their lives? I believe that they want the security situation to improve, with no more uncontrolled groups in the whole of the national territory. There needs to be a discipline in the army, and discipline within the other security forces.

All of us - the organisers of the elections, the voters, candidates, observers, and our friends who support the electoral process - all of us have a need for security, and we will not tolerate insecurity. I believe security is an issue of shared responsibility which is demanded of all of us.


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