Denis Sassou Nguesso sweeps to victory in Congo's presidential elections
Denis Sassou Nguesso has been re-elected as president of the Republic of Congo.
The 77-year-old gained more than 88 percent of the vote, official results showed on Tuesday.
His closest rival, Guy Brice Parfait Kolelas received less than 8 percent. Kolelas died hours after the polls closed while he was being evacuated to France to be treated for Covid-19.
Sassou, a former paratrooper, took power in 1979. He lost Congo's first multi-party elections in 1992 but returned to office in 1997 after a civil war.
He changed the constitution in 2015 so that he would not be barred from standing for re-election the following year.
Congo's economy has been in crisis since 2014 when oil prices collapsed. That led the country's external debt - much of it owed to private oil traders - to soar to more than 100 percent of gross domestic product.
The coronavirus pandemic and a drop in oil prices last year made matters worse. The economy contracted by more than 8 percent in 2020 and is expected to grow by less than 1 percent this year.
Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morningSubscribe