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Controversial electoral commission put in place ahead of March polls in Congo

Controversial electoral commission put in place ahead of March polls in Congo

Republic of the Congo

President of the Republic of Congo, Denis Sassou Nguesso, has restructured the country’s electoral body barely a month to the country’s presidential elections.

The new Independent National Electoral Commission replaces the old electoral body (CONEL) which has been operational since 2001.

Clement Mirassa of the Social Democratic Party party said: “Everyone is convinced that what we have is nothing but a continuation of the Conel that existed before. Facilitators have remained the same, so there is no evolution. And it does not guarantee the transparency of the March 20 presidential election.”

The country’s opposition parties have however criticised the restructuring of the election body saying the new independent electoral commission is not independent and would not bring any change.

Henri Bouka retains his post as president of the new electoral body.

The spokesman for the ruling party, PCT, has however rejected the criticisms arguing the work of the new commission will be recognized through its independence.

Despite the divergent views regarding the new electoral commission, citizens have been urged to ensure the presidential election is peaceful.

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