Democratic Republic of Congo

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 16th January 2007.

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Photo of Judy Mallaber Judy Mallaber Labour, Amber Valley

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.

Photo of Geoff Hoon Geoff Hoon Minister of State (Europe), Foreign & Commonwealth Office

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.

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