One day after the opening of the first ordinary session of the National Assembly, Assembly President Vital Kamerhe held a meeting on March 16, 2007 at the Palais de Peuple in Kinshasa with William Swing, UN Special Representative to the Secretary General in the DRC, as well as ambassadors from the international community to discuss the issues facing the Assembly.
Before commencing the closed meeting, Mr. Kamerhe welcomed the invitees and expressed his wish that ‘the international community would accompany the DRC in this post electoral period.’
“We know that because of the involvement of the international community we were able to organize the elections here, amongst other things. We want to meet regularly with them so that we can put the problems which we debate at the level of the National Assembly on the right track,” he said.
Speaking after the meeting, Mr. Swing said that they discussed three main issues.
“The first relates to the different guards of the former ministers of the transitional government. The second concerns the putting in place of the permanent commissions of the National Assembly, while the third relates to the calendar for the ordinary session from March 15 to June 15 2007.”
It must be remembered that at the start of March, the chief of staff of the FARDC indicated that all soldiers associated with the former vice Presidents would have to return to their original barracks by March 15.
In relation to this important first issue, Mr. Swing said that he was encouraged to see that ‘there exists a framework for finding a solution to the problem, but this is a discussion between the different actors.’
On the second issue, Mr. Swing explained that the different political groups are in the process of discussing the composition of the eight permanent assembly commissions, with the advice of the international community.
“We have come up with different formulas, so we will arrive at a solution that will be acceptable to all the different groups and deputies,” he explained.
On the third issue of the calendar for the first ordinary session of the Assembly, Mr. Swing said that ‘even if the calendar was discussed, it is not yet ready to be distributed.’
“But it is a good initiative and all the ambassadors are satisfied with this latest round of parliamentary diplomacy,” he added.
Among the participants were ambassadors from the following countries: USA, Belgium, Great Britain, Russia, France, South Africa, Angola, Germany, Ghana, China, Italy, Portugal and a European Union delegation.