12:27 GMT24 July 2021
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    Republic of Congo to Hold Constitutional Referendum Sunday

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    The Republic of Congo is set to hold a referendum on Sunday on a new draft constitution abolishing the limit on the number of presidential terms.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The current constitution of the Republic of Congo adopted in 2002 does not allow the president to serve more than two terms of seven years each and puts presidential age limits.

    President Denis Sassou Nguesso called in late September for a referendum on constitutional changes that would allow him being re-elected for a third term in elections scheduled for 2016.

    The opposition labeled the referendum a coup attempt and called on citizens to boycott it.

    On Tuesday, four people were killed in Congo as police opened fire at people demonstrating against the upcoming referendum, despite a government ban on the rally.

    Earlier in October, supporters of the planned constitutional changes held a rally in Congo.

    Sassou Nguesso first became Congo's president in 1979. He served until 1992, becoming an opposition leader afterwards and returning to office only in 1997, at the conclusion of a civil war in the country.

    After a transition period in Congo, Sassou Nguesso won presidential elections in 2002 and 2009.

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    referendum, Denis Sassou Nguesso, Republic of Congo
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