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EU observers: The polling day took place in remarkably calm atmosphere

Monuc - November 2, 2006 7:40 PM

Congo - elections

The European Union Electoral Observation Mission (EU EOM) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo noted at a press conference held in Kinshasa on 1 November 2006, that the Election Day went off in order and with noticeable improvement in the operations transparency comparing to the first round elections.

General Philippe Morillon, the Mission?s Chief and Member of the European Parliament, stated that with the exception of two incidents that took place in the Equator province and in Ituri district, the polling day took place in ?remarkably calm? atmosphere.

Regarding the cases of presumptions and irregularities, General Morillon said that they will be analyzed by the observers and EU chiefs in order to evaluate the impact of the incidence on the results.

As for the pre-electoral period, General Morillon condemned the two candidates for using the media for their own interest and the High Authority of the Media for not having forced the media, mainly the National Television Radio of the Congo (RTNC) to ?assign an equal time for the presidential candidates? campaign,? which led to the cancellation of the televised debate between the two presidential candidates anticipated by the electoral law.

Meanwhile, the EU mission expressed its gratitude to all those who contributed to the elections process, including the voters, the witnesses of the political parties and the national observers, the Electoral Independent Commission (EIC) member staff, and the national and international forces in charge of the security.

?The judicial and reglemantary frame is in accord with the international standards in regards to democratic consultations, despite deficiencies in financing the political parties and in the organization and independence of the judicial power?, said the mission in a preliminary declaration.

For the post electoral period, General Morillon called on the presidential candidates to demonstrate that they are worthy of the highest office by controlling their extremist supporters, the ?raving mad? people, who will try once again to protest the results.

The EU Electoral Observation Mission has 300 observers throughout the country from member states and other non-EU countries, including Switzerland, Norway and Canada and considered as the largest team of observers ever deployed by the EU. They were present in 1 080 voting stations in eleven provinces throughout the country.

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