Vote counting is underway in the Republic of Congo but information is scarce, as the government has blocked all phone and internet use in the country. President Denis Sassou Nguesso is widely expected to win another term in office. The Republic of Congo held elections Sunday cut off from the world. Hours before the vote, the government of the Central African nation called on phone and Internet carriers to shut down service for 48 hours. Amnesty International denounces the move. “Shutting down communication networks is unjustified and it’s an attack on media freedom. Authorities must ensure that everyone is able to carry out its work without fear, without harassment,” said Illaria Allegrozzi.
Despite the ban, the coordinator for Congo’s opposition coalition was able to send out tweets Monday, and retweeted video of people reading election results outside a polling station.
Online communications were blocked last year during protests against a constitutional referendum to change presidential age and term limits. That referendum, which passed with 92 percent of votes, allowed Denis Sassou Nguesso to run again after 32 years in power.
Full Article: Republic of Congo Awaits Vote Results Amid Telecom Blackout.