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Democratic Republic of Congo

Volume 451: debated on Wednesday 1 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps she is taking to promote free and fair elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo; which international observers will be present at those elections; and if she will make a statement. (97881)

I refer the hon. Member to the reply my right hon. Friend the Minister for Trade gave on 9 October 2006, Official Report, column 424W to the hon. Member for North-East Milton Keynes (Mr. Lancaster) on promoting free and fair elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

There are an estimated 1,000 registered international observers for the second round of elections in the DRC, attached to approximately 24 different observer missions including teams from the EU, Southern African Development Community and the Carter Centre. The EU Election Observation Mission comprises 250 long and short term observers and the UK observation team will comprise about 16 British civil servants, together with four hon. Members.