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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release June 4, 1999


It is my great pleasure to congratulate President Nelson Mandela and the people of South Africa for Wednesday's successful national elections.

It has been my honor and privilege to work with my great and courageous friend President Mandela during the past five years as he and his fellow citizens have worked to heal the wounds of the past and build a new, inclusive, democratic and free South Africa. The elections Wednesday represent an important step on that continuing journey. Their peaceful and fair conduct and the tremendous voter turnout are a testament to South Africa's extraordinary transformation. I congratulate all the parties and candidates who participated.

And, on behalf of all Americans, I congratulate the people of South Africa for their determination and hard work to build a better future. By doing so, South Africa has reminded us of the preciousness of democracy and the resilience of the human spirit. South Africa's example shows the way forward for other troubled areas of the world, from Kosovo to the Middle East to Kashmir - inclusive, democratic government that represents the will of the people can be a bulwark against conflict and a foundation for reconciliation, cooperation, and lasting peace. We will continue to work in partnership with South Africa to build a world of justice and tolerance, opportunity and prosperity, democracy and security.