This information was obtained from: abcnews.go.com
& filed under World Legal News

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley urged the Security Council on Monday to use pressure if necessary to ensure that long-delayed presidential elections in Congo take place Dec. 23.

She denounced the use of force by Congo government against opposition demonstrators and demanded that Congolese authorities release political prisoners and guarantee freedom of expression and assembly.

"These changes are desperately needed right now in Congo," Haley said at an informal council meeting. "Use of excessive force against civilians who simply want a say in their future is against everything the U.N. is supposed to stand for."

Haley also warned that the country's electoral commission's decision to use an electronic voting system for the first time without it ever being tested in Congo poses "enormous risk" and "has the potential to seriously undermine the credibility of elections."

"The United States has no appetite to support an electronic voting system," she said.

Electoral Commission President Corneille Nangaa said using voting machines that enable every voter to print a ballot before putting it into a ballot box will save $123 million, lowering the cost of holding the election to about $432 million from the initial estimates of $555 million.

Ida Sawyer, the Central Africa director for Human Rights Watch, warned that voting machines could be used fraudulently.

"Over the past three years President (Joseph) Kabila and those around him have used one delaying tactic after another to postpone elections and entrench their hold on power through voter repression and large-scale violence," abetted by "systemic corruption," she told the council....