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Republic of Congo to hold parliamentary elections

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Republic of Congo to hold parliamentary elections

Democratic Republic of Congo
Democratic Republic of Congo DRC
The first round of parliamentary elections will be held in the Democratic Republic of the Congo today. | Photo: Dai Kurokawa/EPA

The first round of local and legislative elections will be held in the Republic of the Congo today.

More than 2,000 candidates are vying for 151 seats in the country’s National Assembly. On July 4, officers of the army, police and other law enforcement agencies voted first, with the public following today. The date of the second round—reserved for runoffs—has not been determined.

Congo’s National Assembly is dominated by the Congolese Labour Party (PCT), which holds 92 of the outgoing Assembly’s 151 seats. It is also the party of President Denis Sassou N’guesso who has ruled Congo almost uninterrupted since 1979. The opposition lacks unity in its challenge to the PCT. Some parties, including the Pan-African Union for Social Democracy and the Union of Humanist Democrats (UDH-Yuki), are participating; others, including the Alliance for the Republic and Democracy, are boycotting, claiming the results are already set.

Expect the PCT to dominate the new Assembly as it did the old. The lack of opposition options for voters only strengthens the PCT’s hand—internal disarray within participating opposition parties like UDH-Yuki only strengthens it further. A PCT-dominated assembly will likely further weaken the opposition while protecting President N’guesso’s consolidated hold on power.

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