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Sassou Nguesso seeks to extend 32-year rule in Congo vote

A man puts the last touches to a painting of incumbent Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso at the closing rally of his electoral campaign in BrazzavilleCongo voted Sunday under a nationwide media blackout, in a tense ballot expected to see President Denis Sassou Nguesso prolong his 32-year rule over the oil-rich but impoverished nation. On the eve of voting, Interior Minister Raymond Mboulou ordered a 48-hour communications blackout, instructing telecoms firms to block all telephone, Internet and SMS services for “reasons of security and national safety”. Things are going calmly,” said Eric Katolo, head of an 18-person observer mission from the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR).

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