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Volume 704: debated on Tuesday 14 October 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is their assessment of the prospects for a free and fair presidential election in the Republic of Congo in 2009; and whether they will urge President Denis Sassou-Nguesso to accede to the demands of opposition parties for an independent electoral commission. [HL5358]

International observer missions reported irregularities in the conduct of the presidential elections of 2002 and the parliamentary elections held in 2007 in the Republic of Congo. Unless their causes are rectified, it is likely that the 2009 presidential elections will not meet the standards of a free and fair vote.

An electoral commission already exists in the Republic of Congo. The UK is considering what support is appropriate to offer to the electoral process.