Congo voters set to endorse ruling party

2012-07-13 12:10
Denis Sassou Nguesso (File, AFP)

Denis Sassou Nguesso (File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Brazzaville - Allies of the Republic of Congo's longtime President Denis Sassou Nguesso look set to retain an absolute majority when voters head to the polls on Sunday for parliamentary elections.

More than two million people are eligible to vote in the first round of the poll in the oil-rich west-central African country, which has been open to multi-party politics since 1991 but wracked by two civil wars in which Sassou Nguesso, an army colonel, played a prominent role.

The last parliamentary elections in 2007 were marred by irregularities and fraud denounced by observers from the African Union, which is sending about 30 observers to monitor the weekend poll, as is the Economic Community of Central African States.

More than 1 200 candidates, including 124 women, are competing for the 136 seats in the National Assembly. There will be no voting in three Brazzaville constituencies affected by massive explosions in a munitions dump on March 4, which claimed about 300 lives, because the electoral rolls have not been revised there.

A second round of voting is due on August 5.

Sassou Nguesso first became head of state in 1979. His deeply entrenched Congolese Labour Party (PCT), with 136 candidates, intends to keep the 48 seats it holds in parliament, where it has established a dominant role through alliances formed with smaller parties and "independent" MPs who are close to it.

The opposition holds just 12 seats.

Since the start of the campaign, non-governmental organisations have denounced the use by Sassou Nguesso's supporters of the machinery of state, especially the public media, at the expense of their rivals.

"More than 90% of the messages issued on these media come from PCT candidates who display large financial and material resources," noted Maixent Hanimbat of the Forum for Governance and Human Rights.

To confront the PCT, the main opposition party with 11 seats, the Panafrican Union for Social Democracy, is putting up 70 candidates.

The party was formerly that of  ex-president Pascal Lissouba, ousted in 1977 by Sassou Nguesso, who later proclaimed himself president.

The Union for the Republic and Democracy (UDR-Mwinda), led by a former interim leader, Andre Milongo (1991-1992), hopes to do better than in 2007, when it won only one seat.

An opposition coalition that boycotted the 2007 polls, the Alliance for the Republic and Democracy, will be represented by about 70 candidates in Sunday's vote.

Finally, a former rebel movement, the National Council of Republicans (CNR), headed by Frederic Bintsamou, alias Pastor Ntumi, is fielding 20 candidates in the Pool region south and west of the capital, considered the CNR stronghold.

"The authorities want to keep a majority in the assembly by all means. That would enable ... a modification of the constitution to allow President Sassou Nguesso to stand again in 2016," after his two currently authorised mandates have expired, said Clement Mierassa of the Congolese Opposition Front of Parties.

"The PCT candidates are mostly ministers ... and even heads of the boards of governors of the biggest companies," a Congolese observer said, asking not to be named.

"From the beginning of the campaign, the people have been behind them to get a T-shirt or a present. If it's the same until polling day, these candidates have a strong chance of winning."

The Republic of Congo is located to the west of its much larger neighbour, the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Read more on:    denis sassou nguesso  |  congo  |  central africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
When is a mountain more than just a mountain? 2014-12-18 07:26

When it’s an adventure! A group of Old Mutual employees found out how much is enough courage, endurance and camaraderie to take on Africa's highest peak.

/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland
The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

HOUSES FOR SALE IN Paarl

Houses R 2 690 000

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is so much going on around you and inside your head. You may want to take your ideas to the next level. Romance may be...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.