Electoral officials in the Republic of Congo say results from the central African nation’s presidential election could be announced within days. Early results Monday indicate President Denis Sassou Nguesso is on pace to clinch a fourth term, winning 100 percent of the vote in some districts.
The vote counting continues although Sassou Nguesso’s main rival died suddenly as people were going to the polls Sunday to choose the Congo’s next leader.
A spokesman for Guy-Brice Parfait Kolelas’ campaign said the 61-year-old died of COVID-19 as he was being evacuated from Brazzaville to France for treatment.
Kolelas supporter Edgar Masomba said he was very sad and disappointed because his candidate was someone everybody loved because he was kind and had the charisma that could bring change to the country.
Kolelas was challenging Sassou Nuguesso for a second time in Sunday’s election, finishing second to the country’s longtime leader in 2016.
Sassou Nguesso first took office in 1979 and served until 1992. He has served uninterrupted since winning the presidency again in 1997.
The full results of his latest contest are likely to be announced on Tuesday or Wednesday, according to the electoral commission, Agence France Presse, the French news agency reported.