Elections in Congo-Brazzaville: death of opponent Guy-Brice Parfait Kolelas

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Congolese opponent Guy-Brice Parfait Kolelas, Denis Sassou Nguesso’s main rival in the presidential election held on Sunday in Congo-Brazaville, died of Covid-19 during his medical evacuation to France, said Monday to AFP his campaign manager.

“He died in the medical plane which had picked him up in Brazzaville on Sunday afternoon,” said Christian Cyr Rodrigue Mayanda.

“We will continue to count the ballots. He was leading in a number of locations, ”added the campaign manager, who called on Kolelas supporters to a rally on Monday at 11:00 am (10:00 GMT).

The opponent had tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday afternoon, and was unable to host his last campaign meeting in Brazzaville.

A few hours before the ballot, he had published a video in which he claimed to “fight against death”.

“My dear compatriots, I am fighting against death, but nevertheless, I ask you to stand up. Go vote for change. I would not have fought for nothing ”, had affirmed in this video Mr. Kolelas, bedridden, weakened, just after having removed a mask of respiratory assistance.

“Stand up as one man. Do me a favor. I fight on my deathbed. You too, fight for your change. The future of your children is at stake, ”he added before putting on his mask.

Historic opponent, Mr. Kolelas, 60, appeared this year as the only real rival of outgoing President Sasssou Nguesso, 77, including 36 in power, who made no secret of his desire to be re-elected in the first round on Sunday. The results of the poll are not expected for several days.