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Congo Brazzaville: Election campaigning underway

Congo Brazzaville: Election campaigning underway

Republic of the Congo

Presidential candidates in Congo are campaigning ahead of the March 20 poll date.

The campaigning kicked off in earnest on Friday.

The take-off comes after the country’s opposition spoke against the election date.

Sitting president Denis Sassou Nguesso is vying for a third term in office after a controversial modification to the country’s constitution to allow him run. He has denied any wrongdoing.

The opposition have raised doubts about how free or fair the elections would be, insisting very little or no assurances have been given.

“For our candidate, Tsaty Pascal Mabiala, the campaign will begin in earnest in a few days and in the North of the country,” said Honore Sayi, spokesman of Pan-African Union for Social Democracy, UPADS.

Some potential candidates have boycotted the polls, citing unsuitable conditions.

8 candidates are contesting the sitting president Denis Sassou Nguesso who rose to power in 1979, but lost in the popular uprising of 1992, only to return five years later after a civil war.

He has since ruled the Republic of Congo.

A constitutional amendment backed by a referendum in October 2015 paved way for President Nguesso to stand for a third term.

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