African News

Congo Election: Security Council Calls for Calm

6 August 2006 at 21:55 | 482 views

Saluting the citizens of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for their participation in historic, largely peaceful elections on Sunday, the Security Council has appealed to them to maintain the “same spirit of civic responsibility” while they await the results.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), the sole authority permitted to release the vote count, has said a provisional tally will not be available before 20 August.

“The Security Council urges all political actors in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to continue to work to ensure that the electoral process proceeds in a free, transparent and peaceful manner, in accordance with the agreed timetable,” said the statement, issued by the Council’s current President, Ambassador Nana Effah-Apenteng of Ghana(photo). “The Council calls on political leaders to refrain from making inflammatory speeches.”

The statement comes one day after the Secretary-General’s Special Representative to the DRC, William Lacy Swing, called on candidates not to proclaim victory before the vote count is complete.

The UN Mission in the DRC (MONUC), the IEC and the country’s high media authority have expressed concern in recent days that some candidates and local media outlets broke the law by publishing preliminary election results. All three organizations have also called for calm and patience during the wait for results.

While noting that the electoral campaign and the voting process took place in a largely calm environment, the Security Council statement did deplore some recent incidents, particularly in Kinshasa, Mbuji Mayi and Mweka.

Elections mark “the completion of a long period of rule by transitional institutions, and the start of democratic rule,” said the statement. “The people who will be destined to lead the country will bear the important responsibility to provide long-term foundations for the restoration of peace and stability, national reconciliation and the establishment of the rule of law.”

Source: UN News