All forms of media and communication have been shut down for 48 hours in Congo’s presidential election as President Denis Sassou Nguesso aims to prolong his 32-year rule over the oil-rich but economically poor African nation.
Interior Minister Raymond Mboulou wrote to telecommunication companies urging them to shut off telephone, internet and SMS services for 48 hours for “reasons of security and national safety”.
AFP News agency said a government source told them that the media blackout was to ensure there was no ‘illegal’ publication of Sunday’s results.
The president, Sassou Nguesso has said he has no doubt he will beat his eight rivals, describing election day as a “penalty kick and then victory”.
Majority of Congolese citizens want a change of government but the efforts of the opposition were hampered when a public referendum backed removing a two-term limit that would have kept 72-year-old Sassou Ngeusso from power. The vote also removed a 70-year age limit for the presidency ensuring he could contest in this year’s elections.