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Congo: a new opposition platform for an alternative in 2026

Congo: a new opposition platform for an alternative in 2026
The President of the Republic of Congo, Denis Sassou Nguesso   -  
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Uncredited/Russian Foreign Ministry Press Service

Republic of the Congo

Three political parties in Congo-Brazzaville launched an "alliance for democratic change in 2026" on Thursday, as President Denis Sassou Nguesso, who has been in power for almost 40 years, is a potential candidate in the next election.

This new opposition platform includes the Rally for Democracy and Development (RDD) of former president Jacques Joachim Yhomby Opango, who died in 2020 and led the Congo between 1977 and 1979 under Marxism-Leninism, as well as the Movement of Republicans (MR) and the People's Party (PAPE).

Although they have no elected members in parliament, these three parties often gather their activists to sensitize them to the need, in their view, for alternation.

"There are people (from other parties) who will arrive. We have the people with us. There are many corrupt people in our country. But we want to bring something new," Jean-Jacques Serge Yhomby Opango, vice-president of the RDD and son of the party's founder, told AFP after the official launch of the platform in front of activists of the three formations.

"There must be in 2026 a political and democratic alternation. We can not let things happen like that, because the country is going down the drain," he said.

The next presidential election is scheduled for 2026. Denis Sassou Nguesso, almost 80 years old, with nearly 40 years in power, has the possibility of running for a fifth term, according to the country's current constitution.

"We have three years left and plenty of time to address the problems that plague our country during the elections, including electoral governance, the electoral file," said Destin Gavet, of the Movement of Republicans.

"The bodies that plan and conduct all pre-election and election operations are monopolized by one party, the ruling party. De facto, the rules of the game are vitiated from the start," said Jean-Jacques Agnangoye of the People's Party.

In Congo, the opposition has contested the results of all elections held since 2002 and won by Mr. Sassou Nguesso.

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