Opposition parties in Congo Brazzaville are
disputing Sunday's presidential vote won by long time President Denis Sassou-Nguesso.
They condemned the election as flawed and questioned its legitimacy.
before Sunday's vote, six members of incumbent
President Sassou-Nguesso's 12 challengers
called for a boycott, claiming irregularities. But the government as
well as African Union observers described the election as free and fair.
Electoral Commission said President Sassou-Nguesso won 78.6 percent of the
whole election process has been contentious even before they cast the first
ballot. The opposition complained bitterly that the results were fore-ordained.
And so, I'm not surprised that they rejected the outcome," said Professor Okey
Onyejekwe, director of governance at the United Nations Economic Commission for
He said the opposition's
message lacks coherence.
"The problem that the
opposition has is that they are splintered. And consequently they do not have a
common agenda which will make it more likely that they will succeed. I'm not
quite sure if you ask me if they will succeed," he said.
Onyejekwe said Congo's
electoral body failed to address the opposition concerns ahead of Sunday's
"You will recall that a few
weeks ago, the opposition in general leveled accusations against the electoral
process. One of which was that the voter registry was over-inflated. Secondly,
that the level playing field was not there for other contenders and that it
(election result) was fore-ordained," Onyejekwe said.
He said there are
indications the election was not credible.
"In a number of ways the
outcome (of the election) was predictable. And it also reflect the overbearing
power and influence of the incumbent," he said.
frustration with the African Union's verdict that the election was free and
"I have a problem with the
fact that they (African Union) did not intervene or intercede much earlier to
look at some of the structural complaints that were made by the opposition,"
In his speech to the
Ghanaian Parliament, President Barack Obama frowned on African leaders who he
said cling to power despite constitutional requirements to step down.
Onyejekwe said the results
showed Congo officials did not heed president Obama's advice.
"In President Obama's speech
in Accra (Ghana's capital) he talked about 'the big man syndrome' and what is
prevailing in the continent. The United Nations Commission for Africa just
released a 2009 Africa governance report. And one of its major findings is this
big man syndrome in which leaders are finding so many other ways to perpetuate
themselves in office," Onyejekwe said.
He said election disputes
across Africa could continue to degenerate into conflicts if they are not
"Until we address this
problem, you will never have people accepting the outcome of elections,"
Meanwhile, turnout was
reportedly low in Sunday's vote due to an opposition boycott.