Congo Republic’s President Denis Sassou-Nguesso is all but guaranteed to be re-elected for another seven years in an election on Sunday that the opposition wants delayed but the government will push through. Although expectations are low, analysts say a peaceful poll in a nation where elections have previously led to armed conflict could encourage investors to diversify the economy in Africa’s No. 5 oil producer, which is mired by corruption allegations.
The run-up to the July 12 poll has been dominated by complaints by a plethora of opposition parties, who want the election delayed to iron out problems with the election commission, voter lists and the barring of some candidates. But their wishes appear to have been largely ignored.
“Boycott or not, the election will take place,” Sassou-Nguesso said on the campaign trail this week. “It will be held peacefully. We will not move on that.” A coalition called the Congolese Front for Opposition Parties (FPCO), a loose grouping of some 18 political parties, has called on Congolese residents to start a campaign of disobedience to block the holding of the election.
However, the protests, meant to include the mass banging of cooking pans in the capital, Brazzaville, have largely flopped. Calls from leading opposition candidate Mathias Dzon for a new election commission have also fallen of deaf ears.
SOURCED FROM REUTERS