Congo republic votes to decide on third term for president
Oct 28, 2015 Citizens of Congo Republic recently voted in a referendum to determine whether incumbent President Denis Sassou Nguesso can legally run for a third consecutive term in next year’s election.
Sassou Nguesso, who is one of Africa’s longest serving leaders, has been pursuing legal action to prolong his grip on power. His bids have provoked violence, with opposition calling for a boycott.
Speaking during the vote, President Sassou Nguesso said:
“Today is a very important day for the Congolese people, because they will show the world that they are a free people, a sovereign people, and that when it comes to question that affects their lives, and their future, they are the only people that can decide.”
With low voter turnout, several residents said they wouldn’t participate in the referendum.
An unidentified Brazzaville resident said:
“At which point was the population consulted on this referendum? We don’t know, we don’t understand. From what we read in the constitution, even the bible tells us don’t kill, don’t steal. But now we are being told that even if someone kills, they cannot be prosecuted. It’s really terrible for us,”
Another resident, Joseph Noumazayi said:
“You are journalists, you have walked around, you have seen the polling station, and you saw that there was no one. So they (the authorities) know why those people have not gone to vote. Voting is a civic duty but what’s happening here, even if you paid people millions, they would not touch those ballot papers,”