Congolese Party of Labour

Published 13th July, 2012

The Congolese Party of Labour or PCT was founded in 1969 by Captain Marien Ngouabi as the sole ruling party of the military regime. Formerly a Marxist-Leninist Party it claims to have moved to a more moderate centre-left stance in recent years. It believes in Socialism and ‘moderate’ Marxism.

The party was formed following a coup d’état by Captain Ngouabi and fellow officers in 1968 against the then government. It went on to be the sole ruling party of the Republic of the Congo until 1992 when multi-party elections were held for the first time.

Ngouabi was assassinated in March 1977 and was replaced by Yhombi Opango; he only lasted until 1979 and was ousted for being too right wing. Denis Sassou Nguesso became the new leader and although perceived as more left wing he went on to build relations with the West as well as the Soviet bloc.

By 1990 there was serious unrest in the country and calls for greater democracy led to Sassou Nguesso calling a National Conference in 1991 which led to a new constitution and multi-party elections in 1992.

In the presidential election of 1992 Denis Sassou Nguesso did badly, coming third with just 16.87% of the vote. The party also dropped from holding all 133 seats in the National Assembly to holding just 18 seats in a new 133 seat National Assembly. The party did badly in a 1993 election as well, taking just 15 of 125 seats.

In 1997 conflict had broken out once more in the country and with the support of the Angolan government Denis Sassou Nguesso was back as president. Fresh elections were delayed until 2002 and in those elections Sassou Nguesso was returned with 89.4% of the vote. The party also returned to power with 53 of the 153 seats in the National Assembly and the support of the United Democratic Forces who supported the president and took 30 seats.

In 2007 there were further parliamentary elections and the PCT won 46 of the 137 seats. They were returned to power with the support of the so called Presidential Majority which between them took 125 of the 137 seats in the National Assembly.

President Denis Sassou Nguesso won again in the 2009 presidential election, taking 78.6% of the vote on a 66.4% turnout.

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