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Vol 50 No 16

Published 7th August 2009


Congo-Brazzaville

A stolen election, then a coalition

President Denis Sassou-Nguesso wants to buy off his political opponents and has his numerous family members right behind him

Re-elected for a further seven-year presidential term by a crushing majority, according to the official count, Denis Sassou-Nguesso is thinking about forming a national government. He has floated the prospect of talks with his opponents and there are suggestions that he might invite Ange-Edouard Poungui, the leading (but disqualified) opposition contender, to become prime minister. Poungui served as Premier in the 1980s when Sassou-Nguesso ran a one-party military regime which called itself Marxist. Since several French restaurateurs had stayed on in Congo, diplomats used to joke that Brazzaville boasted the best cuisine in the socialist block.

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