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Democratic Republic of Congo

Volume 455: debated on Tuesday 16 January 2007

12. To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps she is taking to support the development of an effective constitutional role for the Opposition and Parliament following elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo. (115412)

We have worked closely with Congolese leaders throughout the peace process leading to last year’s elections. We have been clear that Opposition politicians and Parliament have a vital role to play in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) democratic future. President Kabila has promised to create the political and legal space for the democratic opposition. We are offering UK advice and expertise to help build that capacity.

It is important that we stay involved in the DRC. Getting the DRC right will have a huge impact on not only its 60 million inhabitants but also on the peace and security of the whole central African region. That’s why we supported the election process to the tune of £35 million. We were the biggest bilateral donor—supporting the massive logistics effort, Congolese policing, the voter education and a free media.