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Congo Republic Leader Set to Extend Rule as Economy Slumps

  • Denis Sassou Nguesso seeks fourth, five-year term on Sunday
  • Country hit hard by decline in global oil prices, debt burden
Denis Sassou Nguesso 

Denis Sassou Nguesso 

Photographer: Thierry Charlier/AFP/Getty Images

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The Republic of Congo voted in elections on Sunday with President Denis Sassou Nguesso expected to extend his decades-long rule even as the Central African nation faces its worst economic crisis since the slump in global oil prices in 2014.

The 77-year-old incumbent is seeking a fourth five-year term and faces six opposition candidates. Catholic Church leaders and advocacy groups have expressed concern that the conditions for a credible vote aren’t in place. Human rights group Amnesty International has criticized his administration for arresting and jailing opponents, while local civil-society organizations estimate dozens of political prisoners have been jailed.