The Congolese Labour Party (PCT) of President Denis Sassou Nguesso reaffirmed its dominance in the first round of legislative elections in results announced Friday by the interior ministry. The PCT took 57 out of the 69 seats that were won outright in last Sunday’s first-round vote. Another 10 were won by the parties allied to the PCT; just one was taken by the opposition, while another went to an independent candidate. The other places in the 135-seat parliament will be decided in a second round scheduled for August 5.
Congolese voters went to the polls on Sunday for the first round of legislative elections expected to maintain an overwhelming majority for allies of longtime President Denis Sassou Nguesso. The oil-rich central African country has been open to multiparty politics since 1991 but wracked by two civil wars in which Sassou Nguesso, an army colonel who first came to power in 1979, played a prominent role. Voting got off to a late start in some parts of Brazzaville, but Sassou Nguesso, who cast his vote at midday near the presidential palace, sought to reassure the nation that everything was proceeding smoothly. “The instructions I had given for the elections to take place in peace, transparency, for them to be free, fair and credible, have for the most part been followed,” he said.