Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 15th June 2004.

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Photo of Jack Straw Jack Straw Foreign Secretary 11:30 am, 15th June 2004

On the last point, the answer is yes. On my hon. Friend's first point, an electoral commission has been established. Interestingly, there were more than 1,800 applications for appointment and a shortlist of candidates was interviewed by a panel of experts led by Judge Kriegler of South Africa. The final commission consists of seven commissioners, including two women and one United Nations member. It bodes well for the future.

On the electoral system itself—my hon. Friend takes an interest in such matters, as do I—Mrs. Perelli has recommended that the introduction of a national list system for interim elections to the national congress should take place between now and January. Obviously, the subsequent election system operated will be a matter for the constituent assembly that draws up the new constitution.