News24

Nguesso's party posts strong poll result

2012-07-20 13:20

Brazzaville - The Congolese Labour Party (PCT) of President Denis Sassou Nguesso reaffirmed its dominance in the first round of legislative elections in results announced Friday by the interior ministry.

The PCT took 57 out of the 69 seats that were won outright in last Sunday's first-round vote.

Another 10 were won by the parties allied to the PCT; just one was taken by the opposition, while another went to an independent candidate.

The other places in the 135-seat parliament will be decided in a second round scheduled for 5 August.

Interior Minister Raymond Zephirin Mboulou did not release figures for the turnout at the vote, but the Congolese Human Rights Observatory put it at only 15%.

Observers from the Economic Community of Central African States and from the African Union also reported that turnout had been low, though they did not put a figure on it.

The PCT and its allies already hold an overwhelming majority in the parliament, where the opposition has just 11 deputies.

AU observers said the last legislative elections in 2007 were marked by fraud and poor organisation.

Sunday's elections did not go ahead in three constituencies in the capital, Brazzaville, hit by a devastating explosion last March at an ammunitions dump that killed more than 300 people.

They were also cancelled in the southern district of Vindza after violence at an election rally held by the PCT candidate two days before the vote.