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Democratic Republic of Congo to Hold Elections June 18

Officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo have set June 18 as the date for the country's long-awaited national elections.

The DRC Electoral Commission announced the ballot date Wednesday after parliament approved legislation late Tuesday.

The commission says the first round of voting for president and parliament will take place June 18, if President Joseph Kabila signs the legislation as expected.

It says no date has been set for a possible second round, but observers believe it may happen after a June 30 deadline set in the 2002 peace deal that ended Congo's five-year war.

The polls had originally been scheduled for the middle of last year.

Last week, Congo adopted a new constitution that voters approved in a December referendum.

The constitution replaces the interim agreement that created a transitional government at the end of Congo's 1998 to 2002 civil war. The war, which involved armies from six neighboring countries, killed nearly four million people.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.