Congo's president calls referendum on constitutional changes

Sep 29, 2015 President Denis Sassou Nguesso of the Republic of Congo, recently announced a referendum on constitutional changes that could allow him run for a third term in office.

The 71 year old, who has ruled the country for 31 years in two separate tenures recently called for a national forum to discuss several constitutional amendments. The reforms included increasing the maximum age for presidential candidates and scrapping the current two-term limit.

While addressing the nation, President Denis Sassou Nguesso said:

“This debate, related to the evolution of our republic’s institutions is in fact simple: do we have to change or not the constitution in force in our country? As you called out on me several times, my fellow citizens, I called for republican consultations.”

Acknowledging the sovereignty of the Congolese people, the president went on to say:

“Looking at the evolution of the Congolese society for more than 50 years, I noticed that Congolese people do not want anybody to decide for them. They do not want to be imposed an ideal, and neither do they want to be limited or deprived of their freedom,”

Also acknowledging the possibility of unrest, president Nguesso issued a mild warning that such actions will not be tolerated.

“Adventure and unrest do not belong to democracy. There is no room for them in a republic and they will not be tolerated. May all men and women from political parties remember, as I do, that Congolese people do not need violence, they do not need to be used at someone else’s advantage.”

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