Africa: In Congo, the opposition will not participate in the presidential election

PostedJanuary 30, 2021 at 11:33 PM

The first opposition party will not participate in the presidential election on March 21 in Congo, where President Sassou-Nguesso is seeking a new term after 36 years in power.

Congolese President Denis Sassou-Nguesso has won all elections since 2002, even though they are regularly contested by the opposition.

AFP

The Pan-African Union for Social Democracy (UPADS), the first opposition formation in Congo-Brazzaville, indicated on Saturday that it would not take part in the presidential election on March 21 in which outgoing president Denis Sassou-Nguesso, 77 years including 36 in power, is on track for a new term.

“The presidential election, which is imminent, must no longer divide us as in the past. We unanimously decided not to take part either directly or through an intermediary candidate ”, declared Pascal Tsaty-Mabiala, first secretary of UPADS at the end of a meeting of the Party Council.

UPADS is the party of former President Pascal Lissouba, who died in France last August. It is the only opposition formation to currently have a parliamentary group in the National Assembly. Pascal Lissouba and his party won the first pluralist election organized in the country in 1992 against Denis Sassou-Nguesso, one of the rare democratic alternations in Central Africa.

Regularly contested elections

He had lost power at the end of a civil war in 1997 against the forces of Denis Sassou-Nguesso supported by Angolan troops. Since 2002, the Congo has organized elections, all won by Denis Sassou-Nguesso and regularly contested by the opposition.

The former chief of staff, General Jean-Marie Michel Mokoko, and ex-minister André Okombi-Salissa did not recognize his victory in 2016. They were arrested, tried and sentenced to 20 years of forced labor in 2018 for “endangering the internal security of the State and illegal possession of weapons of war”.

(AFP)

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