The Republic of Congo legislative and local government elections have been reported to be peaceful, even as streets and markets remain deserted.
Over two million voters are expected to cast their ballots in the first round of polling to elect parliamentarians and local councils. Reports indicate that the second round of legislative polls will probably be held on July 30.
The ruling Congolese Labour Party (PCT) is running 128 candidates for the 151 seats available, the main parliamentary opposition group the Pan-African Union for Social Democracy (UPADS) has put forward 43 candidates, while the group led by Guy-Brice Parfait Kolelas who came second in last year elections has 31 candidates.
In total over 700 candidates are vying for the seats in the national assembly a majority of whom are considered close to the presidential majority.
Reports revealed that in the commercial city of Pointe-Noire, there was little activity at most polling centers.
The voting takes place amid a near shut down of activities with restricted movement of vehicles.
Aside security operatives and other essential services, all persons using vehicles are supposed to get official permit to do so.
Bonny Amadi with agency reports