Congo court confirms results of referendum on presidential 3rd term

2015-11-07 07:31
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Brazzaville - Republic of Congo's constitutional court on Friday confirmed the results of a controversial referendum on a constitutional amendment that allows the country's long-serving president to try extend his rule.

The court announced that the October 25 referendum passed with a whopping 94.3% of voters in favour, after a high 71.2% voter turnout.

The government had previously announced 92.3% in favour with a 72.4% turnout - a result dismissed by the opposition as fraudulent.

The referendum proposed two amendments to the constitution, one scrapping a 70-year age ceiling on presidential candidates and the other lifting a two-term limit. President Denis Sassou Nguesso is 71 and has already served two consecutive seven-year terms.

The former paratrooper colonel took power in 1979 and has been in office ever since, excluding a five-year hiatus in the 1990s.

The opposition dubbed the referendum "a constitutional coup", with the FROCAD coalition declaring "the vote was neither free, nor just, nor fair, nor transparent."

Congo was rocked by protests in the run-up to the vote. At least four people were killed in clashes between opposition demonstrators and security forces in the capital Brazzaville and economic hub of Pointe-Noire.

Read more on:    republic of congo  |  central africa

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