AIt is a Francophone country located in central Africa. The Republic of Congo is one of Africa's largest petroleum producers, but with declining production it will need new offshore oil finds to sustain its oil earnings over the long term. It has a literacy rate of 79.3%. The economy is a mixture of subsistence farming and hunting, an industrial sector based largely on oil and support services, and government spending. The Republic of the Congo also has large untapped base metal, gold, iron and phosphate deposits. President Denis Sassou Nguesso has ruled for 26 years.
Congo-Brazzaville has had a multi-party political system since the early 1990s, although the system is heavily dominated by President Denis Sassou Nguesso who has been president since 1997. Parliament is bicameral and consists of the Senate whose members serve for six years and National Assembly whose members serve for five years.
The most recent presidential elections were held in 2016. There were 9 candidates who were qualified to run for presidency. The candidates included: Denis Sassou Nguesso, Anguios Nganguia-Engambé, Pascal Tsaty Mabiala, Jean-Marie Michel Mokoko, André Okombi Salissa, Guy Brice Parfait Kolelas, Claudine Munari, Joseph Kignoumbi Kia Mboungou and Joseph Mboussi Ngouari. On election day, the authorities banned the use of motor vehicles, and also cut Internet and cell phone service.. As the electoral commission was the only body authorized to release election results, the government continued blocking Internet and telephone communications in order to prevent the release of unauthorized results that it said could cause instability. Mr Ngeusso won the elections with 60% vote. Major opposition candidates denounced the results, however minor candidate Joseph Mboussi Ngouari congratulated Mr. Ngeusso. AU condemned the communication blackout and urged the government to re-establish telecommunication links to the general public.
The United States State Department declared that they were "profoundly disappointed" with the electoral process and cited various human rights violations that occurred against opposition supporters. They also criticized the intentional irregularities in the electoral process. In the 2009 election, 13 candidates were approved to run for president. The six boycotting candidates released a statement on election day asserting that over 90% of eligible voters had not participated in the election. The news agency Agence France-Presse reported comments from heads of polling stations in which they described turnout as very low, and it quoted an election observer as stating that "there are more observers than voters. However, official reports state that the voter turnout was 66.4%. President Ngeusso won the elections with 78.6% vote
The Republic of Congo has ratified both the CEDAW and the Maputo Protocol.
The adoption of a new electoral law in May 2007, which encourages female candidates to stand in parliamentary elections- the law stipulates a minimum quota of 15% women candidates to be presented by each party (art. 61).
Women in parliament: 7%
total population: 79.3%
female: 72.9% (2015 est.)