21 February 2016

Congo-Brazzaville: Eleven Presidential Aspirants Await Endorsement

Photo: http://www.dw.com
Incumbent President Denis Sassou Nguesso

Incumbent President Sassou Nguesso is among the 11 candidates who submitted candidature files.

Attention ahead of Congo's presidential election coming up on March 20, 2016 is now focused on the Constitutional Court that has the daunting task to examine the nomination papers submitted by 11 presidential aspirants and publish the final list of qualified candidates.

The deadline for the submission of candidature files at the Court was Saturday, February 20 and at the expiry period, 11 aspirants including incumbent President Denis Sassou Nguesso who is seeking a third term in office had submitted their files.

Sassou Nguesso whose candidature has been made possible through the constitutional amendment voted in the referendum of October 25, 2015. He announced his candidature for the March 20 presidential poll to about 3,000 supporters of his ruling Congolese Labour Party (PCT) at Kintéle in the outskirts of the capital Brazzaville on Friday, February 19 as he officially launched construction work for a new university that will accommodate about 30,000 students.

Supporters of the opposition leader Clément Miérassa, President of the Congolese Social Democratic Party (PSDC) who had been bracing up to vote for him in the upcoming presidential poll, now feel disappointed and will have to vote for a different candidate. Clément Miérassa announced his withdrawal from the presidential race on the last day of the submission of candidature files. Press reports indicate that he did not give reasons for the decision. After his withdrawal, the two opposition platforms have only five presidential aspirants who are waiting for the Constitutional Court to publish the final list of candidates.

The main opposition leaders who also are waiting for the Constitutional Court to endorse their candidatures include Pascal Tsaty-Mabiala of the Pan-African Union for Social Democracy, one of the female candidates Gilda Rosemonde Moutsara Gambou of the Free Conscience party and also former Republic of Congo Presidential Security Affairs Adviser, General Jean-Marie Michel Mokoko. The presidential election campaigns have been slated for March 4 to 18, 2016.

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