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Congo's longtime ruler secures huge lead in relection bid

Incumbent Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso casts his ballot at a polling station during presidential elections in Brazzaville on March 20, 2016Congo’s veteran leader Denis Sassou Nguesso has secured 67 percent of votes in his bid to extend his 32-year-old rule, partial results showed Tuesday, after a tense weekend poll. The results covered 69 percent of the total electorate, the chief of the electoral commission Henri Bouka said, adding that they did not cover Pointe-Noire, the economic capital and opposition stronghold. Oil- and timber-rich Congo has been on edge since an October constitutional referendum that ended a two-term limit on presidential mandates, allowing the 72-year-old former paratrooper colonel to run for office again.

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