Nguesso Sassou Stamped For Third Term Presidential Run

Another African President has made moves and succeeded in securing a green light for a third time successive run for the Presidency. Joining the esteemed ranks of President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, who managed not only a nod for a third term seven year run, but two five year runs after that, and others like him, President Nguesso Sassou, the President of Congo has been stamped by the ruling Congolese Party of Labor, to run for the Presidency in the next elections scheduled to hold on March 20, 2016.

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President Sassou Nguesso has been the President of the Republic of the Congo since 1997. This was after priorly ruling the nation from 1979 to 1992 when he had headed the single party regime of the Congolese Party of Labor (PCT) for 12 years. He later introduced multiparty politics in 1990 after consistent pressure from external international sources and was stripped of executive powers in 1991 at the National Conference, he however retained his office serving as a ceremonial head of state.

Nguesso Sassou ran for Presidency in the 1992 Presidential election but was defeated by both Pascal Lissouba who ran under the Pan-African Union for Social Democracy (UPADS) – the largest party at the time and Bernard Kolelas who ran under the Congolese Movement for Democracy and Integral Development (MCDDI), another strong force.

Congo's Republic President Denis Sassou-Nguesso arrives for a meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, July 7, 2015. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

Nguesso became an opposition leader for five years, returning to power after the June-October civil war in 1997, when his rebel forces finally ousted President Pascal Lissouba. He won the 2002 presidential election, a relatively easy feat due to the low opposition participation, he was also re-elected in the 2009 presidential election. All this would amount to a total of 31 years in power and five years as an opposition leader equally sounds like “in-power”.

On Monday, the PCT Secretary-General Pierre Ngolo said; “Dear comrades, by trusting, totally trusting in Comrade President Denis Sassou Nguesso, we have made the right choice, the best choice,” The move is in line with the constitution as he had secured the right to seek a third consecutive term after a constitutional referendum last year which was marked by violence from the opposition side. President Sassou Nguesso is widely expected to win the elections as many members of the opposition are expected to drop out of the race in the coming weeks.

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