CONGO: Opposition protest as government wins polls by massive majority

Monday, August 13, 2007

Opposition parties in Congo have protested against the outcome of general elections held on 24 June and 5 August after the government was returned to power by a landslide victory.

President Denis Sassou Nguesso's Parti Congolais du Travail (PCT) and its allies won 124 of 135 seats, according to results announced on national radio by the minister of land administration and decentralisation François Ibovi.

Elections in Bouaniela and Liranga areas in the northern Likouala region will be held later because the villages could not reached in the two rounds, the minister said.

He added: "While there were some problems in the first round of the elections that everybody regretted, the efforts of professionals and administrators in improving the electoral process has been laudable."

Opposition leaders from 40 parties disagreed. "We lack words to qualify these elections," spokesperson for the opposition groups Clément Miérassa said. "Various expressions have been used to describe these elections: masquerade, electoral joke, disorder, shambles, elections of shame, elections of chaos, and scandal."

African Union observers said the polls were not well organised, and that an independent institution should be set up for future elections to ensure they are impartial and efficient.

Opposition party l’Union pour la Démocratie et la République (Udr-Mwinda), which was founded by late Prime Minister André Milongo, now has one member of parliament, while former President Pascal Lissouba’s Union Panafricaine pour la Démocratie Sociale (UPADS) won 10 seats. There will also be less than 10 women in the House.

In the Pool region, the main focus of civil wars between 1998 and 2002, former rebel chief Reverend Frédéric Bintsangou (alias Pastor Ntoumi), whose soldiers fought in the regular army for years, was not elected.

Source: IRIN
See Also