Congo referendum allows president to run for third time

Constitutional referendum in Republic of Congo allows President Nguesso to run for a third time, passes with 92 percent despite low turnout

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Republic of Congo President Denis Sassou-Nguesso, February 8, 2012.

The result of a referendum today in the Republic of Congo will enable President Denis Sassou Nguesso to run for presidency constitutionally for a third time ahead of next year’s presidential election.  

Electoral Commission of Congo Republic has reported that a constitutional referendum passed with approximately 92.26 percent in a statement via radio.

In unchanged rules, the constitution limited presidents to stay for a maximum of two terms in office with the maximum age limit being 70 years.

According to a Electoral Commission report on the radio, participation to the referendum was 72 percent. The opposition boycotted the referendum and the senior opposition said the referendum should be canceled cause of a low turnout.

Electoral Commission said nearly 1.2 million voted ‘Yes’ to change while 102,000 rejected.

Before the election, the violence between police and protesters who are against changes in the referendum left at least four dead and 10 injured.

During the protests independent watchdog organization, Amnesty International warned security officials to not use excessive force against demonstrators.

The former soldier Nguesso was president from 1979 to 1992 in a one party system then came to the opposition in 1992 after failed multi-party elections but turned to power again at the end of the bloody civil war in 1997.

He was elected as president in 2002, then again in 2009 with 79 percent of the votes but opposition boycotted the last election.



TRTWorld and agencies