Congo elections: Denis Sassou Nguesso, wins by a “controversial” landslide

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Provisional results of the July 12 Congolese presidential elections were made public Wednesday. Denis Sassou Nguesso, outgoing head of state won by a landslide, with 78.61% of the total votes cast. Mathias Dzone, a radical opposition leader who is also considered as Sassou Nguesso’s main rival, gained only 2.30% of the total votes cast, according to figures announced by the Ministry of Territorial Administration.

No nasty surprises! Denis Sassou Nguesso, 66, has been officially re-elected as head of Congo for another seven year term. He obtained 78.61% of votes cast on July 12, according to provisional results released on Wednesday in Brazzaville by the Minister of Territorial Administration, Raymond Mboulou. This score corresponds to 1.055.117 votes.

An independent candidate, Joseph Kignoumbi Kia Mboungou, came second with 7.46% of the total votes, followed by the moderate opposition leader, Nicéphore fylla Saint-Eudes (Liberal Republican Party, PRL) with 6.98%.

66.42% participation rate

Dzone Mathias, former Finance Minister under Denis Sassou Nguesso, currently his fiercest opponent, only received 2.30% of the overall vote, according to provisional results. The participation rate, which is fast becoming a bone of contention following the elections, is believed to be 66.42% if the figures announced today by the Minister of Territorial Administration are to be made final.

Dzone Mathias alongside five other candidates — out of a total number of twelve candidates — who had called for a boycott to protest against a glaring “masquerade”, had indicated, Monday, that the elections were marked by a record abstention rate of over 90% and called for its cancellation. They had also complained of massive fraud perpetrated by security personnel close to the ruling government.

It came as no surprise, when the same Congolese government, which announced that the election had been conducted in a calm and transparent atmosphere, rejected their charges.

As the Congolese population awaits the validation of the final election results by the competent authorities, i.e; the government’s Ministry of Territorial Administration and the Electoral Commission, Denis Sassou Nguesso is certain to hold on to the reins of Congo for another seven years.

Denis Sassou Nguesso came to power in 1979 after a coup, he ruled the country until 1992. Defeated in elections that year, Sassou-Nguesso left power prior to resume in 1997 by a coup. In 2002 he was re-elected for seven years, after changing the constitution to his advantage.

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