Congo opposition brands referendum result a fraud

first_imgA Congolese opposition leader has dismissed the country’s official referendum results, claiming the landslide win for President Sassou Nguesso’s bid to extend his 31-year rule was fraudulent.Clement Mierassa told AFP that the reports that the voter turn-out was more than 72% is “extremely scandalous”, considering the observations made on the voting day.Interior Minister Raymond Mboulou on Tuesday announced a 92.3% win for Sassou Nguesso’s bid to change the constitution, effectively allowing the long-time leader to run for a third term.Official results showed the voter turnout for the referendum was high at 72.4%, though an opposition leader on Monday said that only 10% on Congolese voted.There were however, long queues of voters near the presidential palace where Sassou Nguesso, one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders, cast his own ballot.The referendum proposed two changes to the constitution, which currently disqualifies Sassou Nguesso, 71, from running for re-election in 2016 because it stipulates a maximum age of 70 for presidential candidates and limits the number of mandates to two.Sassou Nguesso is over the age limit and has already served two consecutive seven-year terms.last_img