Near Normalcy

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KINSHASA, Zaire: The government of the newly named Democratic Republic of Congo is moving quickly to consolidate power two days after Laurent Kabila's ragtag rebel soldiers marched victoriously into the capital, reports TIME's Peter Graff from Kinshasa. "Kabila's representatives met Monday with the chairmen of the major state-run enterprises and the heads of the national bank," says Graff, "and they did it very publicly." The moves have helped to stabilize the national currency, which soared from 170,000 zaire to the dollar on Friday to 50,000 to the dollar Monday. Kabila, who has assumed the title of president, is expected to name a multi-party "transitional authority" Tuesday night to handle day-to-day governing. Although the U.S. is pressing Kabila to commit to multi-party elections as soon as possible, organizing a vote will not be easy given the country's decaying infrastructure and imperfect census data. "The country is bankrupt. There's not even a constitution," South African Deputy President Thabo Mbeki said. South African negotiators have reportedly proposed holding elections in a year's time, notes TIME's Peter Hawthorne. For the moment, though, Kinshasa residents, still exuberant over the rebels' easy victory, are content to wait. Most businesses have reopened and the streets are once again clogged with traffic, Graff reports. Underneath, though, runs a current of revenge, as the gruesome mob lynchings that have claimed more than 200 suspected looters and Mobutu soldiers continue in the capital.