Constitutional Referendum on 25th October
President Denis Sassou Nguesso has announced that the country will hold a referendum on 25th October to make changes to the constitution. The decision was taken after a Cabinet meeting on Monday.
The referendum will seek to change the term limits a sitting president can run to allow for a third term.. The referendum will also seek to abolish the age limit for a presidential candidate which is set at 70 years old.
Sassou Nguesso (72) has ruled the country for 30 of the last 35 years. His first term was from 1979 to 1992 after he seized power in a coup d’etat and then the current term which started in 1997 following a civil war. He won re-election in 2002 when the current 2002 constitution was introduced which only allows for two consecutive terms and was re-elected in 2009.
Opponents have described the action as a constitutional coup and thousands of people demonstrated in the capital Brazzaville against the move when it was first mooted last month.