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EU: To give an overall national tendency is very premature and irresponsible

Monuc - August 9, 2006

Eu observers

The European Union Electoral Observer Mission in the DRC (EU EOM) said this Tuesday August 8 2006 that there were some difficulties in the electoral process in the DRC and that they will continue to observe closely the electoral process. All actors in the DRC should be aware of the fact that it is impossible, at this stage, to extrapolate to a national tendency by looking at just some local results.

The EU EOM noted the strong participation of the Congolese people and the calm with which they voted on 30 July, which demonstrated their attachment to democratic processes. They also praised the IEC for all their work in tackling such huge logistical challenges to make the elections a success.

Some of the election difficulties were related to the poor understanding which certain voters had of the voting procedure, as well as some isolated incidences of intimidation.

?We noted the weakness of the sensitization of voters, in terms of civic education, as some of the voters did not understand the voting procedure. There was also some intimidation of voters outside certain polling stations,? said electoral analyst Marco Sioli.

EU EOM also noted some technical disorder in the process, particularly in Kinshasa. The packaging of certain electoral materials was not sufficient, and some were lost during transit.

In N?djili and in Limete in particular, electoral documents were burned.

?The circumstances around these events remain uncertain, but an investigation is being undertaken by international and national observers so that the transparency of the process can be upheld,? Mr Sioli explained.

Other difficulties included the loss of some ballot papers, and a number of observers and witnesses of political parties experienced difficulties of access in certain compilation centres in the country.

?But we understand that these issues are being taken on board by the IEC and we hope that all these difficulties will be resolved in the near future,? Mr Sioli added.

Currently 100 EU election observers are deployed in all provinces, and are following very closely the crucial stage of the compilation of results.

The EU EOM underlined that they were satisfied with the current operations on the level of the local centers of results compilation, which is progressing at ?an effective rate?.

However they reiterated their stance that because of the impartial nature of the results, it is inappropriate at this stage to speculate on the future president of the country. They appealed to all people, in particular media professionals, to show prudence and responsibility at this crucial time.

?The IEC can only give local and partial results, but to extrapolate and try to give an overall national tendency is very premature, dangerous and irresponsible. The EU EOM will remain in the DRC until the completion of the electoral process, and if we do find any further irregularities we will denounce them,? Mr Sioli concluded.

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