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Republic of the Congo Politics

State and politics

Congo has been governed by Denis Sassou-Nguesso and its party Parti congolais du travail (PCT) with the exception of the years 1992–97.

Political System of Republic of the Congo

GOVERNMENT

The Constitution, adopted in 2002, gives the President a very strong position. The President leads the government's work and appoints ministers, senior civil servants, senior military commanders and ambassadors. The president is also the commander-in-chief and chairman of the judiciary's higher council, which should officially guarantee the independence of the judiciary but has instead been criticized for politicizing the judicial system.

The term of office is seven years. Previously, only one re-election was allowed, but in 2015 the constitution was amended so that Denis Sassou-Nguesso, who took power in 1997, could stand in the upcoming elections. At the same time, the rule that said the president must not be older than 70 years was deleted.

The National Assembly has 151 members, who are elected in general elections for five years. The Senate's 72 members are elected for six years by the local councils. Half of the members are replaced every three years. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for how CG can stand for Republic of the Congo.

Policy

Since the outbreak of civil war in 1997, Denis Sassou-Nguesso seized power in October this year and the democratic constitution of 1992 was repealed. A new constitution began to form after the end of the war in 2000 and was adopted by a referendum in 2002. Sassou-Nguesso has since won three presidential elections by an overwhelming majority; In 2002 he received 89 percent of the vote, in 2009 79 percent and in 2016 60 percent. All elections have been questioned by the opposition, as is the result of the referendum on amendments to the constitution, which was carried out in 2015.

In the 2002 parliamentary elections, the former Marxist Party of congolais du travail (PCT), led by President Sassou-Nguesso, resumed government power. The second largest party grouping in Parliament was the Forces démocratiques unies (FDU), an association of 29 parties supporting the government. The real opposition parties only got a few seats each. The largest among them were the Union pour la democratie et la Republique - Mwinda (UDR) and the Union panafricaine pour la demokratie social (UPADS), founded by former President Pascal Lissouba.

Even in the 2007 elections, PCT and its many allies gained 125 seats in the National Assembly, of which PCT accounted for 46. The election was conducted under chaotic conditions. In 2012, PCT almost doubled the number of seats to 89 and together with the support parties, the party received 108 out of 137 seats. The largest opposition party UPADS got seven and the opposition accused the electoral commission of not being neutral.

Controversy also surrounded the 2017 election, boycotted by several parties, partly in protest of Sassou-Nguesso being allowed to run in the presidential election the year before, and partly because the troubled situation in the Pool region made it impossible to hold elections in just over half of the constituencies there. The election resulted in PCT being awarded 96 of 151 seats. Of the 20 independent candidates elected to Parliament, several considered the regime to be close. The second largest party was UPADS with eight seats. Of the MEPs, 17 (11 percent) were women.

Judiciary

The French judicial legacy survives in the Congo, first and foremost in the form of the large French laws introduced during the colonial era, including the Civil Code (Code Civil). However, personal circumstances are largely regulated by varying customary rules. The Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal are located in the capital, while the Court of First Instance is decentralized. The death penalty remains in the penal code but is de facto abolished in 1982.

Heads of State

Presidents

1960-63 Fulbert Youlou
1963-68 Alphonse Massamba debate
1968-77 Marien Ngouabi
1977-79 Joachim Yhombi-Opango
1979-92 Denis Sassou-Nguesso
1992-97 Pascal Lissouba
1997- Denis Sassou-Nguesso
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