Congolese approve constitution change allowing new presidential term

2015-10-27 15:09

Dakar - Voters in Congo-Brazzaville have overwhelmingly endorsed a constitutional reform that could pave the way for a third consecutive term for President Denis Sassou Nguesso, the government has said.

The reform was backed by nearly 93% of voters in Sunday's referendum, Interior Minister Raymond Mboulou said on television late Monday.

The electoral commission put the turnout at 72.4%.

But the opposition said there had been a nationwide boycott of the vote and that the turnout could not have been higher than 10%.

The constitutional reform will remove age and term limits that prevent Nguesso, 71, from seeking a new term in office in the 2016 elections.

Nguesso has ruled Congo-Brazzaville since 1997. He previously served as president between 1979 and 1992.

Thousands of Congolese last week clashed with police as they demonstrated against the referendum.

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