BRAZZAVILLE, 12 February 2021 – President Denis Sassou Nguesso is running for a record fourth term in office when general elections hold in Congo-Brazzavillle next March 21.
Congo-Brazzaville’s biggest opposition political party, the Pan-African Union for Social Democracy has already said it will boycott the ballot in protest at what it says is a formality for the incumbent.
The incumbent has been in power since 1979, except for a five-year period after he was beaten in elections in 1992.
In a referendum in 2015, the country voted to remove term and age limits ostensibly to ensure that the incumbent would be qualified to run again.
The 77-year-old Sassou Nguesso is one of eight presidential aspirants who have filed complete paperwork for the ballot, according to the country’s constitutional court.
The 2016 presidential election victory of Sassou Nguesso was challenged by the opposition and marred by violence and wild allegations of fraud.
The seven challengers include a former minister of finance, Mathias Dzon and the son of a former prime minister, Guy-Brice Kolelas.
The aspirants include Albert Oniangue, a former aide-de-camp of Sassou Nguesso, two former MPs, Joseph Kignoumbi Kia Mbougou and Michel Ngouari, a former customs official, Anguios Nganguia Engambe.
The youngest aspirant for the presidency is 38-year-old Deve Mafoula.