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Democratic Republic of the Congo

Volume 450: debated on Monday 23 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many people the UK plans to send to act as election monitors for the second round of the Democratic Republic of Congo presidential elections. (95347)

The UK intends to send observers for the second round of elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), as it did for the first round. The UK observation team will comprise about sixteen British civil servants, together with three or four hon. Members.

The UK observers will contribute to the wider EU Election Observation Mission in the DRC. In addition to the UK observation team, independent British observers will be participating in the EU mission.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what advice she has offered the Democratic Republic of Congo on election procedures and monitoring. (95348)

The UK is the biggest bilateral donor to the election process in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), contributing £30 million. The international community has provided logistical support and advice to the DRC Independent Electoral Commission (CEI). The UK has also participated in the elections steering committee, in which international electoral experts have discussed voting procedures, transparency and logistics with the CEI to enable them to hold free and fair elections in the DRC.

We have encouraged the CEI to make the process as transparent as possible. There are an estimated 50,000 national and 1,000 international observers registered for the second round of elections.