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Congo sets July 30 as poll date

The Democratic Republic of Congo has fixed July 30 as the date of the country's first free presidential and legislative elections.

india Updated: May 01, 2006 10:41 IST

The Democratic Republic of Congo's (DRC) electoral commission has fixed July 30 as the date of the country's first free presidential and legislative elections in 40 years.

The first round of presidential elections and the single-round legislative elections will be held on that day, and electoral campaigning will run from June 29 to July 28, rapporteur Dieudonne Mirimo told a news conference here on Sunday.

The elections had earlier been postponed for logistical reasons. A think tank called the International Crisis Group has warned of massive unrest in the country if the polls were not conducted properly within four months.

The commission did not say when the second round of the presidential polls and other regional, local and senate elections would take place.

A schedule will be announced when the candidate lists for regional polls are known next month, Mirimo said.

Thirty-three candidates are registered to run for president, including current president Joseph Kabila, several former rebel leaders now in DRC's interim government, and former ministers of the regime of the late dictator Mobutu Sese Seko.

More than 9,000 candidates have registered to run for 500 seats in the legislative elections.

The first free elections since 1965 will aim to install a transitional government, ending the cycles of unrest that have plagued the country since the start of its 1998-2003 civil war.

First Published: May 01, 2006 10:41 IST