Longtime Republic of Congo President Denis Sassou Nguesso appears on course to win a fourth term, according to early results, as vote counting continues despite the death of his main rival.
Sunday’s presidential election was overshadowed by the sudden death of his main rival Guy-Brice Parfait Kolelas, who passed away from coronavirus on polling day.
Provisional official results from 35 polling stations indicated that Sassou Nguesso, aged 77, was on track for a landslide first-round victory.
Final results are expected later this week tallies from about 40% of the 86 districts showed that Sassou Nguesso is ahead and in some areas won 100% of the vote.
One of the world’s longest-serving rulers, Sassou Nguesso was the frontrunner in an election boycotted by the main opposition and under an internet blackout.
In power for a total of 36 years, he has long been accused by critics of iron-fisted rule and turning a blind eye to corruption, poverty and inequality despite abundant oil wealth.