Republic of Congo polls open; candidate sick with COVID-19

Republic of Congo is urgent forward with an election that’s anticipated to increase President Denis Sassou N’Guesso’s 36 years in energy

After casting his poll, Sassou N’Guesso mentioned the federal government was conscious of opposition candidate Man Brice Parfait Kolelas’ sickness and had taken the steps needed for him to be transferred to France for additional therapy.

Aides confirmed the medical evacuation flight bringing Kolelas to a French hospital took off from Brazzaville on Sunday afternoon.

Elira Dokekias, who heads Republic of Congo’s pandemic response, mentioned Kolelas had been in severe situation on Saturday night however that the candidate’s situation was secure forward departure.

Kolelas, 61, had skipped his closing marketing campaign occasion on Friday after telling some reporters a day earlier that he feared he had malaria. A video circulating on social media Saturday confirmed Kolelas carrying an oxygen masks and with a blood stress cuff on his arm as he lay in a hospital mattress.

“My pricey compatriots, I’m in hassle. I’m combating dying,” the candidate says in a weak-sounding voice after eradicating his oxygen masks. “Nonetheless, I ask you to face up and vote for change. I’d not have fought for nothing.”

Kolelas positioned second to Sassou N’Guesso within the nation’s 2016 presidential election with about 15% of the vote. The opposition determine has been significantly important of the incumbent chief in latest days, declaring that Republic of Congo had turn into “a police state.”

Sassou N’Guesso is the third-longest serving president in Africa, ruling from 1979-1992 after which once more since 1997 on this nation usually overshadowed by its huge neighbor Congo.

Republic of Congo has had fewer than 10,000 confirmed instances of COVID-19 for the reason that pandemic started, with 134 confirmed deaths.

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Related Press author Krista Larson in Dakar, Senegal, contributed to this report.

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