Guy Brice Parfait Kolelas, 61, was seen in a video shared on social media hours before the survey, receiving oxygen treatment at an undisclosed medical facility.
“I’m fighting death,” said the top presidential candidate, who briefly removed his oxygen mask. was heard saying in French in a scene
which went viral over the weekend.
He called on his supporters to go to the polls and “vote for change. I will not fight for anything. Fight for it,” he said.
Colelas, a former government minister and one of the leading contenders in Sunday’s poll, had hoped to overthrow 77-year-old President Denis Sassou Nguesso, who has ruled the country for decades.
Colelas was a Nguesso runner-up in the 2016 presidential election, where he garnered about 15% of the total votes.
President Nguesso, who is seeking to extend his 36-year reign, is expected to navigate victory ahead of Colela and five other presidential contenders as the vote count continues in the oil-rich Central African country.
More than half of the country’s five million people have registered to vote in the poll, officials said.
The election has been full of problems,
including an internet outage and independent monitors prevented from surveying the survey and there are concerns that it may not be free and fair.
Under the Nguesso regime, poverty and cORRUPTION
have remained widespread in the Republic of Congo, which ranks among the Top 10 oil producing countries in Africa.
Nguesso emerged as the leader of the Congo in 1979
but lost its bid for re-election in 1992 after the multiparty system was introduced in the country.
He regained power in 1997 and has since led the country.
Nguesso amended the Congolese constitution in 2015, repeal laws defining a two-term limit
for presidents and a maximum age limit of 70 years.
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