Congo presidential candidate arrested: police

Congo presidential candidate arrested: police

Opposition leader won ran unsuccessfully in Congo’s last presidential election against President Denis Sassou Nguesso has been arrested, a senior police officer said.

“I can confirm 100 percent that Mr. Andre Okombi Salissa has been arrested,” the source told AFP.

Salissa, 55, was placed under house arrest three months after the last year’s polls was arrested Tuesday morning.

Prosecutors want Salissa’s parliamentary immunity to be waived to prosecute him for “illegal possession of weapons of war.”

General Jean-Marie Michel Mokoko, another opposition leader has been in custody since June after being charged with “breaching internal state security” and “illegal possession of weapons.”

Salissa was once a member of Nguesso’s ruling party and had served severally in his cabinet before joining the opposition protesting Sassou Nguesso’s holding of a referendum allowing him to seek a third mandate and cutting out presidential term limits.

Nguesso first ruled Congo from 1979 to 1992 when he lost the polls. He bounced back in 1997 and has since won three elections. Congo’s political stability has been on edge since the referendum and opposition activists are accusing the Nguesso regime of suppressing dissent.

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