Gun­fire, tear gas rock Congo anti-third term protests

Daily Trust - - INTERNATIONAL -

Po­lice have fired shots and tear gas in Congo’s cap­i­tal, Brazzaville, in a clamp down on protests against the pres­i­dent’s bid for a third term.

Tex­ting and in­ter­net ser­vices have been cut and pub­lic meet­ings have been banned ahead of a con­tro­ver­sial ref­er­en­dum on Sun­day, res­i­dents said.

The vote is aimed at push­ing through changes to the con­sti­tu­tion such as scrap­ping age and two-term lim­its.

This would al­low Pres­i­dent De­nis Sas­sou Nguesso, 71, to run for of­fice again.

Nguesso first came to power in 1979 and rul­ing un­til 1992 when he lost elec­tions. He re­turned as pres­i­dent in 1997 af­ter a civil war and has since won two elec­tions.

An op­po­si­tion coali­tion had planned to hold a rally in the city cen­tre to protest against the pro­pos­als to be put to a ref­er­en­dum on Sun­day.

An­gry youths have burnt tyres in Brazzaville’s Ba­congo and Makelekele dis­tricts, send­ing plumes of smoke into the sky, the AFP re­ports. Canada’s Lib­eral Party has de­ci­sively won a gen­eral elec­tion, end­ing nearly a decade of Con­ser­va­tive rule.

The cen­trist Lib­er­als, led by Justin Trudeau, started the cam­paign in third place but in a stun­ning turn­around now com­mand a ma­jor­ity.

Mr Trudeau, the 43-yearold son of late Prime Min­is­ter Pierre Trudeau, said Cana­di­ans had voted for real change.

In­cum­bent Con­ser­va­tive PM Stephen Harper - in power since 2006 - has con­grat­u­lated his ri­val.

Justin Trudeau is son of late Prime Min­is­ter Pierre Trudeau, con­sid­ered the fa­ther of mod­ern Canada.

Ad­dress­ing ju­bi­lant sup­port­ers, Mr Trudeau said Cana­di­ans had “sent a clear mes­sage tonight: It’s time for a change”.

He also praised Mr Harper for his ser­vice to the coun­try.

De­nis Sas­sou Nguesso

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