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Vol 46 No 25

Published 16th December 2005


Congo-Kinshasa

Generals, gems and graft

Three reports on the looting of state assets raise new fears for the success of next year's elections

The 18 December referendum is meant to establish a new constitution, prepare for national elections in 2006, signal the end of the traumatic civil war and speed economic recovery. Yet there are few signs that politicians are ending their quarrels or that elections will hamper the leaders and officials who loot state assets. Most of the 24 million registered electors do not seem to care. The usually reticent President Joseph Kabila told journalists last week that he was really worried about voter apathy. A No vote or a very low referendum turnout could increase that apathy at election time.

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