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Vol 57 No 7

Published 1st April 2016


Sassou makes it modest

The incumbent claims 60% of the votes in a re-election lacking credibility but facing no serious international challenge 

President Denis Sassou-Nguesso arranged for his re-election with considerably less self-confidence than he had shown in previous electoral contests. The campaign was marked by security forces killing 18 protestors and using tear-gas, arresting foreign journalists and blocking telephone and internet access. The government unexpectedly brought polling day forward from July to March and imposed a media blackout. The organisation of the poll was so clearly flawed that the European Union did not even bother to send observers. Sassou-Nguesso chose not to win by the 90%-and-over figure favoured by several African Union leaders but his score was still double those of the nearest rivals combined. According to the official results, Guy-Brice Parfait Kolélas, son of ex-Premier Bernard Kolélas, and Jean-Marie Michel Mokoko, one of Sassou's former advisors, took 15% and 14% respectively in the single-round poll.

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