Republic of Congo government to release election results

The government in the Republic of Congo was set on Tuesday to release the full provisional results of an election in which President Denis Sassou Nguesso faced 12 challengers who have cried fraud.

Interior Minister Raymond Mboulou said on Tuesday that the results still had to come in from the remote Likouala region in the far north, but “we hope those will soon arrive and in the afternoon, we can give complete provisional figures”.

The government and opposition are locked in disagreement about the turnout in Sunday’s election, when some of Sassou Nguesso’s foes said that only about 10% of voters cast their ballots. Electoral officials have yet to release their figures for the turnout.

The 66-year-old former military ruler was seeking a new seven-year term, supported by a wide grouping of parties in the Presidential Majority Assembly against the 12 other candidates.

Sassou Nguesso has ruled Congo for almost 25 years, having held power from 1979 to 1992 and returned to the presidency in 1997 after a civil war.

Half his foes called for a last-minute boycott of this year’s election when they were unable to obtain a delay to verify the voters’ rolls. They regard the official figure of 2.2 million eligible to vote in a nation of some 3.6 million as swollen to facilitate fraud.

The government has dismissed the opposition claims of a very low turnout as nonsense. On Monday, Mboulou said that in some districts the turnout was “well above average” and that in some constituencies, “100% of people voted.”


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