Opposition candidate in Congo-Brazzaville dies from COVID-19
Shortly after presidential elections in the Central African country of Congo-Brazzaville, the main opposition candidate Guy Brice Parfait Kolelas has died of COVID-19, his campaign team said on Monday.
Kolelas was taken via plane to France for treatment but suffered from respiratory problems during the flight and died shortly after landing, his campaign manager Christian Cyr Mayanda said.
Kolelas was the main challenger of President Denis Sassou-Nguesso in Sunday’s election, though he was said to have little chance of winning. In 2016 elections he came second.
Sassou-Nguesso is one of the oldest presidents in Africa, with over 35 years in office overall. The 70-year-old came to power in 1979 following a military coup. He lost office in 1992 multi-party elections, but came back to power five years later after a civil conflict.
Congo-Brazzaville is one of the largest oil producers on the African continent. Due to low oil prices and declining production, the country has recently suffered economically.
It is also plagued by corruption, ranking among the 15 last countries on Transparency International’s corruption index.