Congo-Brazzaville is ruled by President Denis
Sassou-Nguesso, who ruled 1979-1992 and regained power
in a coup in 1997. The president and his party, the
Congolese Workers' Party (PCT), have since won a number
of contested elections. Presidential elections were held
last 2016 and parliamentary elections 2017.
In recent years, politics has been dominated by a
controversy over the constitution. When President
Sassou-Nguesso could see the end of his second term in
office, he began to think about changing the
constitution to allow him to be re-elected for a third
term. This provoked strong popular protests, but the
president did not allow himself to be affected, but
announced a referendum on the matter.
Country facts and history of Republic of the Congo, including state flag, location map, demographics, GDP data, currency code, and business statistics.
The referendum in the autumn of 2015 was boycotted by
the opposition and on election day, demonstrations were
held in the capital, where at least four people lost
their lives in clashes with security forces.
As expected, the president's proposal won by a large
margin. As a result, both the re-election limit and the
upper limit for how old a president may be disappeared.
It was previously set for 70 years, which would have
been an obstacle for Sassou-Nguesso who in 2016 would be
73 years old.
The president's attempt to change the constitution
gave rise to teardowns within the government and during
the battle some of Sassou-Nguesso's allies jumped off
and joined the opposition, which is now united in two
new alliances, IDC and Frocad
(see Political system). Ahead of the March 2016
presidential election, the ruling party appointed PCT
Sassou-Nguesso as its candidate. Eight opposition
candidates ran for election. Before the election,
telecommunications were turned off and media was
prevented from coming out, citing national security.
Sassou-Nguesso won the election in the first round,
with 60 percent of the vote, Guy-Brice Parfait Kolelas
receiving 15 percent while General Jean-Marie Michel
Mokoko received 14 percent. Several opposition
candidates rejected the result before the election was
After the election, some unrest in southern
Brazzaville occurred in an area where the opposition was
strong. The former Ninjamilis was accused, among other
things, of setting a police station on fire. Thousands
of people were forced to flee fighting between security
forces and suspected militia.
The constitutional change also meant the
establishment of a new post as Prime Minister. In April
2016, Clément Mouamba took over as head of government.
The months after the election, opposition politician
Mokoko is arrested accused of planning a coup attempt
against the president. As evidence, a video is used, in
which he appears to be planning to overthrow
Sassou-Nguesso. His followers claim that the film is
fabricated. Mokoko is sentenced in spring 2018 to 20
years in prison (see Calendar).
At the end of 2017, the government closed a ceasefire
with the Ninja Bells.
Sassou has a strong personal financial interest in
retaining power. As a powerful president in a corrupt
system, he has been able to enrich himself and his
family. Three of his children were elected to Parliament
In France, since 2009, a legal investigation has been
underway on allegations that President Sassou-Nguesso
and his colleagues in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea have
been guilty of embezzlement. The three presidents are
suspected of using public funds to buy luxury housing
and the like in France for a total value of $ 223
According to the French police investigation,
Sassou-Nguesso has 18 homes, a luxury car and 112 bank
accounts in France, which have now been seized by French
Overall, corruption in the country is extensive. On
the Transparency International's 2017 list of corruption
worldwide, Congo is one of the worst countries: 161 out
of 180 countries.
Read more about the ongoing development in the
FACTS - POLITICS
Republic of the Congo / Republic of the Congo
republic, unitary state
Head of State
President Denis Sassou-Nguesso (1997–)
Head of government
Clément Mouamba (2016–)
Most important parties with mandates in the
preliminary results give the ruling party PCT 90,
Upads 8 and UDH-Yuki 8 mandates (2017) 1
Main parties with mandates in the second most
the ruling party PCT and its allies 108, Upads 7,
others 21 (2012)
around 44 percent in the 2017 parliamentary elections
parliamentary elections 2022, presidential elections
- all figures are not yet reportedSources
Former president is sentenced
In his absence, Lissouba is sentenced to 30 years in
prison for treason and corruption.
The war is over
The last resistance forces surrender and a truce is
1999 Public Policy
Peace agreement concluded
In December, the government and the rebels sign a
1997 Public Policy
Civil war is ongoing
Civil war erupts. President Pascal Lissouba and his
government are forced into exile. In October, Lisbon's
representative, Denis Sassou-Nguesso, resumes the
presidential post and appoints a transitional
government, but the war will continue for the next two