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Guy Brice Parfait Kolelas hospitalised with COVID-19

Leading opposition candidate says he’s ‘fighting death’ after being diagnosed with COVID-19 on eve of presidential election.

Photo: Men on a motorbike ride past billboards of presidential candidates and leading opposition leaders Guy Brice Parfait Kolelas and Mathias Dzon, in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo March 17, 2021. Copyright Aljazeera

The leading opposition presidential candidate in Republic of Congo was receiving oxygen at a private hospital after being diagnosed with COVID-19, a family member said, casting Sunday’s election into doubt on the eve of the vote.

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During a press conference on Monday in N'Djamena, Chad at the headquarters of the Transformateurs party of opposition leader Dr Succès Masra, he described the upcoming April 11 election as a masquerade. Accusing the regime of abuse, he presented the media with the remnants of ammunition that were fired by police at the political site.

Despite his earlier promises to govern for only a single term, Benin’s President Patrice Talon is standing for re-election on 11 April and looks to be heading towards victory. Talon’s economic record remains strong and he has sidelined the opposition.

Chadian President Idriss Déby Itno, who has ruled since 1990, is gearing up to take on his sixth mandate as head of state.

It is a crushing victory and an unsurprising one. At the end of the first round of the presidential election held on Sunday 21 March, Denis Sassou Nguesso was re-elected for a fourth term as the head of Congo with 88.57% of the vote, according to provisional results announced on Tuesday by Raymond Zephirin Mboulou, the Minister of Interior. The turnout was 67.55%.

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