BRAZZAVILLE, 7 March 2021 – Presidential campaigns are underway in the Republic of Congo ahead of the actual casting of ballots scheduled for next March 21.

Seven other presidential candidates are in the race, besides incumbent president, Denis Sassou Ngueesso, who has been president for a combined 37 years already.

Sassou Nguessou Campaigning - Photo Zenga-Mambu

Sassou Nguessou Campaigning – Photo Zenga-Mambu

Source Voice of America

Source Voice of America

Sassou Nguesso is seeking and almost guaranteed to win a historic fourth term in office against a bitterly divided opposition field and amidst calls for a boycott by certain opposition parties.

Some opposition parties wanted the ballot delayed while others, who are boycotting, have raised doubts about how free or fair the elections woud be.

Sassou Nguesso has been accused of ramping what the opposition considers an illgal constitutional amendment down the throats of the country to allow him to lift term limits.

Placard Calls for Sassou to Step Down at Opposition Rally - Photo Global Voices

Placard Calls for Sassou to Step Down at Opposition Rally – Photo Global Voices

The amendment was approved in a referendum in October 2015.

“Ahead of the vote, campaign events, protests, and other related activities are likely to increase, warns GardaWatch in a posting on its website.

“Electionevents will likely be smaller than in past years’ programs due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions,”added.

Sassou Nguesso first came to power in a coup in 1979.

He lost the presidential election in 1992, bowing out of power only to return five years later after a civil war.

Sassou Nguesso has remained in power since regaining the presidency in 1997.

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