Surviving leader of the era of single parties, Denis Sassou Nguesso was reelected in the first round at the head of Congo-Brazzaville, with 88.57% of the vote, according to the provisional results of the Electoral Commission, announced Tuesday March 23 by the minister of the Interior.
Denis Sassou Nguesso, 77 years old including 36 in power, far away from his main rival, Guy-Brice Parfait Kolélas, who died on Monday (7.84%), according to these same results which may be the subject of an appeal before the Constitutional Court. The turnout in Sunday’s poll was 67.55%. “By this vote, the people in their majority responded and said that we had the capacity to bounce back, to restore our economy and to move towards development”the president said in a brief statement to the press.
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In absolute terms, the president, who first came to power in 1979, obtained 1,552,948 votes. Four other candidates make anecdotal scores, below 1%. “Why such a Stalinist result? “, asked AFP a government official on Tuesday morning, on condition of anonymity.
Fourth re-election since 2002
Without incident, and without passion either, the campaign will have been marked by the omnipresence of Denis Sassou, who has placed at the top of his priorities peace, youth, and the development of agriculture to get out of all-oil and dependence on imports. The Internet was cut off on the morning of the poll on Sunday. The 55,000 to 60,000 members of the security forces voted early Thursday, fueling suspicions of fraud in the opposition.
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The priority of the outgoing president will now be to reconnect with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In crisis, Congo-Brazzaville is indebted to China and oil traders Glencore and Trafigura.
President Sassou Nguesso, who has obtained his fourth re-election since 2002, will still be able to run for a new term in 2026, according to the constitutional revision he had adopted in 2015.