Wednesday, March 23, 2016 6:03 pm
Opposition candidates in elections in Congo Republic said on Wednesday that President Denis Sassou Nguesso placed no better than fourth in any major district, rejecting official partial results that gave him a commanding lead.
Results of Sunday’s ballot announced by the country’s electoral commission on Tuesday, and based on returns from 72 of 111 voting districts, showed Sassou Nguesso with 67 percent of the vote .
Charles Zacharie Bowao, the head of a coalition of five opposition candidates, posted its summary of preliminary results — showing Sassou Nguesso trailing others — on his Twitter account.
It said this was based on results collected from regions representing more than 75 percent of the electorate, though no exact vote totals were provided.
“It is impossible that the candidate-president could claim a victory, even taking into account only the partial results,” the coalition said in a statement.
Bowao did not say which of the opposition candidates the summary placed in the lead, or how it was compiled. The opposition previously said it had deployed observers to all polling stations to tally votes.
Sassou Nguesso, who has ruled the oil-producing country for 32 of the last 37 years, must win an outright majority against eight opponents in all to avoid a run-off.
The government says the opposition’s publication of its own results is illegal and has imposed a blackout on internet and mobile phone communications since Sunday that it says will help prevent unofficial results circulating and creating unrest.