Senior Malaysian legislator charged with violating secrecy law

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Washington –  Mark Toner, the Deputy Department Spokesperson of the U.S. Department of State, said on Friday that the U.S. is disappointed by the flawed presidential electoral process in the Republic of Congo.

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According to a statement issued, this was following the widespread irregularities and the arrests of opposition supporters following the elections marred by an otherwise peaceful vote.

The U.S. however, called on the Congolese government to correct these numerous deficiencies before scheduling legislative elections in order to bring credibility to future electoral processes.

“We continue to urge the Congolese government to respect the people’s constitutional rights of freedom of expression, movement, and association and we further encourage all parties to engage in constructive, inclusive dialogue.

“The U.S. is also deeply concerned about the welfare of thousands of Congolese who awoke on April 4 to the sound of gunfire and explosions and fled their homes.

“A climate of fear works against the national unity and peace that the Congolese people deserve.

“We are inspired by the Congolese people, who have demonstrated a strong commitment to democracy and have persevered in difficult times,’’ the statement said.

It said that the Congolese’s continued peaceful involvement in the political process is vital to the future development of the Republic of Congo.
President Denis Nguesso, who has ruled the country for 32 years, was re-elected in a disputed poll last month.

The election went ahead after the President and the ruling party pushed through constitutional changes in a referendum last October to remove age and term limits that would have disqualified him from standing again. (PANA/NAN)


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