Newly re-elected Congo President Denis Sassou Nguesso (2nd L) and his wife Antoinette (L) leave campaign headquarters in Brazzaville on March 24, 2016, minutes after the Independent Electoral Commission declared him the winner. / AFP / MARCO LONGARI
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Congo strongman Denis Sassou Nguesso was Thursday declared the winner of presidential elections, extending his 32 years in power in a vote the opposition says was marked by "massive fraud".Interior Minister Raymond Zephyrin Mboulou announced the results at 3:30am (0230 GMT) on national television, saying Sassou Nguesso had secured 60 percent of the vote in the tense weekend poll held under an ongoing communications blackout.The official count gave runner-up Guy-Brice Parfait Kolelas 15 percent of the vote, while General Jean-Marie Michel Mokoko came in third with 14 percent.Oil- and timber-rich Congo has been on edge since an October constitutional referendum that ended a two-term limit on presidential mandates, allowing Sassou Nguesso, a 72-year-old former paratrooper colonel, to run for office again.Authorities imposed a communications blackout during the election to prevent opposition candidates from publishing "illegal results".
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