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Like Uganda, Congo Completed Polls as Government left the Social Media shut down

In previous weeks, we saw the government of Uganda ban all the social media websites but this did not stop the majority Ugandans from accessing the internet and they got what they wanted though not as expected.

However, Congo also did the same thing by holding its elections under the same social media shut and the tense vote were seen allover the country where the opposition accused the government of holding unfair election.

This could see President Denis Sassou Nguesso prolongs his 32-year rule over the oil-rich but poor nation.

According to the Interior Minister Raymond Mboulou, we wrote to telecommunication companies urging them to shut off telephone, internet and SMS services for 48 hours for “reasons of security and national safety”.

A government source told the press that the shutdown was intended to stop any “illegal” publication of the results of Sunday’s elections and that was done successfully as we wait for the counting to go on smoothly.”

Only a few official numbers were excluded from the ban.

On the other hand, Riot police used tear gas to disperse dozens of opposition supporters who alleged vote irregularity after voting ended in the capital.

Opposition groups are reported to have been denied access to the counting of ballots.

The government had also outlawed the use of motor vehicles nationwide during the vote, except for those with special permits.

However, the opposition had condemned the communications blackout, saying it would prevent election monitors from doing their job, and warned of rigging.

General Jean-Marie Michel Mokoko is seen as the strongest challenger to President Denis Sassou Nguesso.

Mr Sassou Nguesso has been in power since 1979, except for a five-year period after losing elections in 1992.

The constitution was changed after an October referendum to remove term and age limits which would have prevented the 72-year-old from standing again.

By Robert Muriisa.

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