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Congo's opposition rejects poll results declaring Sassou Nguesso winner

Republic of the Congo

Opposition candidates in Congo’s presidential elections have rejected the results declaring President Denis Sassou Nguesso winner.

Charles Zacharie Bowao, the head of a coalition of five opposition candidates, posted on his Twitter account his summary of preliminary results showing Sassou Nguesso trailing others.

“It is impossible that the candidate-president could claim a victory, even taking into account only the partial results,” the coalition said in a statement.

Bowao did not say which of the opposition candidates the summary placed in the lead, or how it was compiled. The opposition previously said it had deployed observers to all polling stations to tally votes.

Congo’s interior minister Raymond Mboulou Zéphyrin announced on Thursday that Nguesso, who has been in power as the head of his country for 32 years, was re-elected in the first round of the presidential elections on Sunday with 60% of votes.

According to the official count, Guy Brice Parfait Kolélas came second with just over 15% of the vote, and General Jean-Marie Michel Mokoko third with about 14%. On Wednesday, the two opposition candidates had contested the partial results published the day before by the Independent National Electoral Commission (CNEI), which gave Mr Sassou Nguesso the lead with 67% of votes.

“How do you want us to accept such a result?”, General Mokoko said calling for “a recount.”

“I knew beforehand that the dice were loaded, but we had agreed to play the game,” said Mokoko who was until February adviser to President Sassou Nguesso in peace and security matters and lamented the results published by CNEI.

Vivien Manangou, spokesman for Mr. Kolélas, said for his part the re-election of Mr. Sassou Nguesso was part of a “massive fraud” and “magic”.

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