Congo votes in final round of election

Ruling party widely tipped to retain power as voters cast ballots for 67 remaining seats in 136-seat assembly.

    Party of President Denis Sassou Nguesso secured 57 out of the 69 seats in the first round [AFP]
    Party of President Denis Sassou Nguesso secured 57 out of the 69 seats in the first round [AFP]

    Voters in the Republic of the Congo have gone to the polls in the latest round of elections.

    At stake in Sunday's final round of voting are 67 remaining seats in the 136-seat assembly.

    The ruling Congolese Labour Party (PCT) of President Denis Sassou Nguesso is widely tipped to retain power after securing 57 out of the 69 seats in the initial round of voting on July 15.

    Another 10 seats went to parties allied to the PCT while only one seat was taken by the opposition and another to an independent candidate.

    Some polling stations in capital, Brazzaville, failed to open on time due to a lack of electoral resources, according to the AFP news agency.

    There were no official figures for the turnout in the first round, but according to the Congolese Observatory on Human Rights, it was estimated at just 15 per cent.

    The low early turnout resulted in major delays in the first round of votes.

    The electoral commission president Henri Bouka responded to such claims in a statement confirming that "everything had been done" to ensure polling stations across the country were opened on time.

    Observers from the African Union and the Economic Community of Central African States claimed there were more "weak points" than strong in the organisation of the first round, but dispelled any evidence of fraud, despite such claims by the opposition.

    SOURCE: AFP


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