EYEAFRICA TV: Brazzaville, CONGO:- The Republic of Congo’s President Denis Sassou Nguesso, has been re-elected for the fourth term with 88.57% of the vote, according to provisional results announced on Monday.
Sunday’s presidential election was overshadowed by the sudden death of his main rival Guy-Brice Parfait Kolelas, who passed away from coronavirus on polling day.
The victory means President Sassou Nguesso will be extending his 36-year rule in the oil-producing Central African country of five million people.
The main opposition party has boycotted the elections while critics say the vote won’t be free and fair.
The country’s Interior Minister, Raymond Zéphirin Mboulou said out the 2.5 million registered voters, 67.55% have voted in the elections.
In late January, the Pan-African Union for Social Democracy (UPADS), the country’s main opposition party, said it had decided not to field a candidate in the election, arguing conditions were not conducive for polls and that an election would only lead to more divisions in the country.
A constitutional amendment in 2015, which ended a ban on presidential candidates aged over 70 and scrapped a two-term limit, allowed him to run again in 2016. Two candidates in that vote — former army general Jean-Marie Michel Mokoko and ex-minister Andre Okombi Salissa — were sentenced in 2018 to 20 years in prison for “undermining state security”.
Sassou N’Guesso is the third-longest serving president in Africa, ruling from 1979-1992 and then again since 1997 in this nation often overshadowed by its vast neighbor Congo.
Republic of Congo has had fewer than 10,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, with 134 confirmed deaths.