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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 February 2006, 09:56 GMT
Kabila to contest DR Congo poll
Joseph Kabila, DR Congo's president
Joseph Kabila succeeded his father in 2001
Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila has secured the governing party's candidacy in presidential elections expected later this year.

He was nominated unanimously at the end of the People for Reconstruction and Democracy Party congress in Kinshasa.

Mr Kabila has been president since the assassination of his father, Laurent Kabila, in 2001.

The first round of the presidential poll are due to take place on 29 April, with a possible run-off on 2 June.

The parliamentary vote is also due on 29 April, in what will be DR Congo's first national multi-party elections for four decades.

Praise singing

Presidential adviser Kikaya Bin Karubi said that Mr Kabila had been an easy choice for the PRDP as there was no other suitable candidate in the party.

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"Mr Kabila is the best qualified man for the Democratic Republic of Congo to move forward," he told the BBC's Network Africa programme.

"He's been able to prove what he's capable of doing; he's brought peace, he's stabilised the economy; he's reunited the country, so it's for him t reconstruct the country."

Some 4,000 people attended the three-day congress. The BBC's Arnaud Zajtman in Kinshasa said delegates spent little time debating and most of the time dancing and singing praises of the president.

Some students told our reporter they had been promised $5 to attend the gathering.

DR Congo is currently run by a power-sharing government, including ex-rebels, which took office in terms of a peace deal signed in 2002, ending a three-year civil war.

Other presidential contenders are former rebel leaders Azarias Ruberwa of the former Rwandan-supported RCD and John Pierre Bemba of the former Ugandan-backed MLC - both of whom of vice-presidents in the interim administration.

Veteran opposition politician Etienne Tshisekedi is also in the running.

Rebel groups that did not participate in the peace process remain active in the east of the country.

Some 17,000 UN peacekeepers are in DR Congo to oversee the polls.


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