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There is little public enthusiasm for the elections on 12 July and an easy victory for President Denis Sassou-Nguesso looks assured

Next month’s elections do not scare the regime of President Denis Sassou-Nguesso. The opposition is fragmented and lacks a credible strategy (AC Vol 48 No 15). In any case, the government has kept firm control of the electoral register, which independent observers believe now contains 458,000 ghost voters, in a country of just 3.7 million people. At the elections in 2002, Denis Sassou-Nguesso converted himself into a constitutional ruler five years after seizing power through the 1997 civil war. The electoral register in opposition-supporting regions had been altered to exclude many locals while including presidential loyalists, such as Rwandan Interahamwe militia recruited to the government army. During the last seven years, President Sassou-Nguesso has reinforced his position by neutralising old foes, exploiting their loss of determination after years in exile.

(This article contains approximately 1342 words)

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Denis Sassou-Nguesso., Former foes return, Rwandan, Bernard Kolélas, Jacqueline, Parfait, Joachim Yhombi-Opango, Justin Lekoundzou Itihi Ossetoumba, French, Marien Ngouabi, Emmanuel Ngouelondele-Mongo, Denis Gokana, Denis Christel, Pascal Lissouba, United States, Nicolas Sarkozy, Isidore Mvouba, Ange-Édouard Poungui, Mathias Dzon, Frédéric Bitsangou, Pasteur Ntoum, André Matsoua, Hervé Zebrowsky, Emile Biayenda, Biayanda, Ernest Kombo, Angèle Bandou, André Milongo, Patrice Nzouala, Norbert Dabira, Jacques-Yvon Ndolou, Blaise Adoua, Jean-François Ndengue, Pierre Oba, André Okombi Salissa, Edith Lucie Bongo Ondimba, Gabonese, Omar Bongo Ondimba, Mouvement Congolais pour la Démocratie et le Développement Intégrale, Parti Congolais du Travail, Rassemblement pour la Démocratie et le Développement, Rassemblement pour la Majorité Présidentielle, Société Nationale des Pétroles du Congo, concertation, Commission Nationale d’Organisation des Elections, Conseil National des Républicains, Les Assassins du Cardinal Biayenda, Parti des Pauvres, Cour de Cassation, Comité d’Action pour la Défense de la Démocratie-Mouvement de Jeunesse