Presidential election unlikely to see change


The Republic of the Congo (Congo – Brazzaville) is holding a presidential election today, four months earlier than required. The move comes after a referendum last year in which the constitution was changed to allow a president to serve more than two consecutive terms and to permit those over 70 years old to stand.

The changes mean that incumbent President Denis Sassou Nguesso, who is just about to complete his second term in office, is standing as a candidate. Denis Sassou Nguesso has, in various forms, ruled the country for the last 32 of 37 years.

There are eight candidates standing against the president and five have pledged support for the opposition candidate in the event of a second round runoff. But, as with the referendum, and following recent changes to electoral law it is unlikely that the vote will be sufficiently free and fair for that to happen.

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