New York

27 October 2006

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Secretary-General welcomes the progress that has been made in the technical preparations for the second round of the presidential election and the provincial assembly elections to be held in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on 29 October.

However, the Secretary-General is very concerned about the increasing level of violence as election day approaches. The overwhelming majority of the Congolese people are determined to exercise their democratic right to freely elect their leaders through participation in the polling. And the successful holding of peaceful and credible elections is vital for future peace and stability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Secretary-General urges the Congolese people, and, in particular, the presidential candidates, to take all possible steps to ensure that the elections are conducted in an atmosphere of calm and that the process is transparent and free.