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Congo legislative polls: Peaceful voting amid empty streets, closed shops

Congo legislative polls: Peaceful voting amid empty streets, closed shops

Republic of the Congo

Voting in first round of legislative and local area polls in the Republic of Congo has largely been peaceful across the Central African country.

In the commercial city of Pointe-Noire, there was little activity at most polling centers. The voting takes place amid a near shut down of activities with restricted movement of vehicles.

Aside security operatives and other essential services, all persons using vehicles are supposed to get official permit to do so.

The usually busy streets are still busy but more with human movement that vehicles. No commercial vehicles are operating across the country. Shops have also been closed.

Over two million voters are expected to cast their ballots in the first round of polling to elect parliamentarians and local councils. Reports indicate that the second round of legislative polls will probably be held on July 30.

A local media portal shared photos of the President, Denis Sassou Nguesso casting his vote in the capital. The ruling Congolese Labour Party (PCT) is running 128 candidates for the 151 seats available.

Information minister Thierry Moungalla also shared photos of his participation in the process. The African Union mission-based in Brazzaville also observed that the process was peaceful.

The main parliamentary oppositIon group the Pan-African Union for Social Democracy (UPADS) has put forward 43 candidates, while the group led by Guy-Brice Parfait Kolelas who came second in last year elections has 31 candidates.

In total over 700 candidates are vying for the seats in the national assembly a majority of whom are considered close to the presidential majority.

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