The Republic of Congo has concluded its ballot count for the presidential elections and has announced the incumbent president, Denis Sassou Nguesso, who has spent 32 years in office, as the winner.
This announcement was made by the Interior Minister, Raymond Zephyrin Mboulou, on national television on Thursday, where he stated that the president led the polls with 60 percent in the first round, while the next candidate, Guy Brice Kolelas, had 15 percent of the votes and General Marie Michel Mokoko came third with a little less than 14 percent.
According to ‘The Guardian’, the president’s opponents expressed their concern on the authenticity of the results and rejected them, saying there was “massive fraud” and calling for a recount.
The elections were held under an imposed communications blackout by governmental authorities to prevent opposition candidates from publishing “illegal results” and would likely remain, according to a government source, until after the official results.
Vivien Manangou, Kolelas’ spokesman, said government forces had stormed the candidate’s campaign offices on Tuesday, hurling tear gas canisters and causing a stampede. There was also said to be heavy police and military presence in places where there was opposition stronghold.
This is the 72-year-old’s third term in office and he has been ruling the country since 1979, except for five years when he away on exile in Paris from 1992 to 1997.