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48-hour shutdown of Internet, telephone services for presidential election

Interior Minister Raymond Mboulou wrote telecom companies urging the shut-down of telephone, Internet and SMS services for 48 hours for what he cited as "reasons of security and national safety".

Congo's President Denis Sassou Nguesso speaks during a news conference after his meeting with Tunisia's President Beji Caid Essebsi at Carthage Palace in Tunis January 22, 2015. Sassou Nguesso is in Tunisia on a two-day visit. REUTERS/Anis Mili

According to media reports, there is a 48-hour black out of all telephone, Internet, and SMS services in Congo due to ongoing presidential elections going on in the country.

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Interior Minister Raymond Mboulou wrote telecom companies urging the shut-down of telephone, Internet and SMS services for 48 hours for what he cited as "reasons of security and national safety".

Long-serving leader Denis Sassou Nguesso is heavily favored to win the polls, according to an Innovation Village report.

Al-Jazeera reports that tensions have been high in Congo since October 2015, when a public referendum supported removing a two-term limit that would have kept Nguesso from power.

The vote also removed the 70-year age limit for the presidency - which could force on of Africa's longest serving presidents to step down.

The changes had a 94.3 percent approval via a referendum dubbed a "constitutional coup" by the opposition.

Incumbent Nguesso says he has no doubt that he will defeat his eight rivals, referring to election day as a "penalty kick and then victory".

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