Congo opposition drops civil disobedience

2015-11-02 22:41
Denis Sassou Nguesso (File, AFP)

Denis Sassou Nguesso (File, AFP)

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Brazzaville - Congo's opposition said on Monday that in the interests of peace it was calling a halt to a civil disobedience campaign against the veteran president's bid to extend his three-decade rule.

A joint statement from the Republic of Congo's two opposition coalitions, the IDC and the FROCAD, said they had decided to drop plans to shut down the country's cities every Monday, Thursday and Friday starting November 2.

"With a view to appeasement and in order to enable the holding of a dialogue .... the IDC and FROCAD have decided with responsibility to suspend the programme of actions from today," they said.

Last week the opposition also cancelled a planned nationwide protest aimed at pressuring the government to withdraw a constitutional amendment enabling President Denis Sassou Nguesso to extend his stay in office.

The amendment was put to a referendum October 25 which the government announced it had won with a landslide 92.96 percent.

The referendum proposed two amendments to the constitution, scrapping a 70-year presidential age ceiling as well as a two-term limit. Sassou Nguesso is 71 and has served two consecutive seven-year terms.

The veteran leader took power in 1979 and has been in office since then, bar five years, meaning he has ruled the central African country of 4.5 million people for more than 31 years.

Congo is one of several African countries currently facing the critical question of whether heads of state should be allowed to run beyond two terms in office.

Read more on:    denis sassou nguesso  |  congo  |  central africa

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