Congo s opposition unites for presidential vote

February 23, 2009 12:00 am

, BRAZZAVILLE, Feb 23 – Congo’s 18 opposition parties and movements have formed a common front to contest July’s presidential election, the alliance said in a joint statement.

The new alliance set out a list of 12 requirements to ensure the peaceful conduct of the election, notably a meeting of all the main political players for consultations.

The opposition also called for the creation of a properly funded independent electoral commission staffed by figures from the judiciary to monitor both the campaigning, the vote-count and the publication of the results.

And it protested against the government’s decision to cancel the revision of the electoral lists.

The exact date of the presidential election has not yet been fixed, but a number of candidates have already come forward.

President Denis Sassou Nguesso has not yet said if he will run for office again, but close associates have suggested that this is his intention.

Opposition politicians and African Union activists have said that the 2007 legislative elections and the 2008 local elections were marred by widespread fraud.


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