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Last Updated: Sunday, 5 August 2007, 11:16 GMT 12:16 UK
Republic of Congo goes to polls
Congolese President Denis Sassou-Nguesso casts his vote 24 June 2007
President Sassou-Nguesso has been accused of poll-rigging
Voting in the second round of parliamentary elections in the Republic of Congo is reported to have got off to a slow start.

Local and international observers criticised the conduct of the first round in June.

Critics say the poll was marred by poor organisation, logistical problems and allegations of vote rigging.

The opposition accuses the government of President Denis Sassou-Nguesso of organising a "masquerade".

The government-appointed electoral commission says it has made changes to ensure voting goes more smoothly this time.

But the poll is boycotted by some 40 parties.

They claim it is aimed at shoring up President Sassou-Nguesso, who has ruled the country for most of the past 28 years.

Of the 53 members of parliament elected in the first round, from a total of 137, three were members of the opposition.

Country profile: Republic of Congo
16 Jun 07 |  Country profiles
Timeline: Republic of Congo
16 Jun 07 |  Country profiles

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