Government type

presidential republic
Capital

name: Brazzaville

geographic coordinates: 4 15 S, 15 17 E

time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: named after the Italian-born French explorer and humanitarian, Pierre Savorgnan de BRAZZA (1852-1905), who promoted French colonial interests in central Africa and worked against slavery and the abuse of African laborers
Administrative divisions

12 departments (departments, singular - department); Bouenza, Brazzaville, Cuvette, Cuvette-Ouest, Kouilou, Lekoumou, Likouala, Niari, Plateaux, Pointe-Noire, Pool, Sangha
Independence

15 August 1960 (from France)
National holiday

Independence Day, 15 August (1960)
Constitution

history: several previous; latest approved by referendum 25 October 2015

amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or by Parliament; passage of presidential proposals requires Supreme Court review followed by approval in a referendum; such proposals may also be submitted directly to Parliament, in which case passage requires at least three-quarters majority vote of both houses in joint session; proposals by Parliament require three-fourths majority vote of both houses in joint session; constitutional articles including those affecting the country’s territory, republican form of government, and secularity of the state are not amendable
Legal system

mixed legal system of French civil law and customary law
International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Citizenship

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of the Republic of the Congo

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years
Suffrage

18 years of age; universal
Executive branch

chief of state: President Denis SASSOU-Nguesso (since 25 October 1997)

head of government: Prime Minister Clement MOUAMBA (since 24 April 2016); note - a constitutional referendum held in 2015 approved the change of the head of government from the president to the prime minister (2019)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president

elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for 2 additional terms); election last held on 20 March 2016 (next to be held on 21 March 2021)

election results: Denis SASSOU-Nguesso reelected president in the first round; percent of vote - Denis SASSOU-Nguesso (PCT) 60.4%, Guy Price Parfait KOLELAS (MCDDI) 15.1%, Jean-Marie MOKOKO (independent) 13.9%, Pascal Tsaty MABIALA (UPADS) 4.4%, other 6.2%
Legislative branch

description: bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of:
Senate (72 seats; members indirectly elected by regional councils by simple majority vote to serve 6-year terms with one-half of membership renewed every 3 years)
National Assembly (151 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed; members serve 5-year terms)

elections:
Senate - last held on 31 August 2017 for expiry of half the seats (next to be held in 2020)
National Assembly - last held on 16 and 30 July 2017 (next to be held in July 2022)

election results:
Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PCT 46, independent 12, MAR 2, RDPS 2, UPADS 2, DRD 1, FP 1, MCDDI 1, PRL 1, Pulp 1, PUR 1, RC 1; composition - men 58, women 14, percent of women 19.4%

National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PCT 96, UPADS 8, MCDDI 4, other 23 (less than 4 seats) independent 20; composition - men 134, women 17, percent of women 11.3%; note - total Parliament percent of women 13.9%
Judicial branch

highest courts: Supreme Court or Cour Supreme (consists of NA judges); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 members); note - a High Court of Justice, outside the judicial authority, tries cases involving treason by the president of the republic

judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges elected by Parliament and serve until age 65; Constitutional Court members appointed by the president of the republic - 3 directly by the president and 6 nominated by Parliament; members appointed for renewable 9-year terms with one-third of the membership renewed every 3 years

subordinate courts: Court of Audit and Budgetary Discipline; courts of appeal; regional and district courts; employment tribunals; juvenile courts
Political parties and leaders

Action Movement for Renewal or MAR [Roland BOUITI-VIAUDO]
Citizen's Rally or RC [Claude Alphonse NSILOU]
Congolese Labour Party or PCT [Denis SASSOU-NGUESSO]
Congolese Movement for Democracy and Integral Development or MCDDI [Guy Price Parfait KOLELAS]
Movement for Unity, Solidarity, and Work or MUST [Claudine MUNARI]
Pan-African Union for Social Development or UPADS [Pascal Tsaty MABIALA]
Party for the Unity of the Republic or PUR
Patriotic Union for Democracy and Progress or UPDP [Auguste-Celestin GONGARD NKOUA]
Prospects and Realities Club or CPR
Rally for Democracy and Social Progress or RDPS [Bernard BATCHI]
Rally of the Presidential Majority or RMP
Republican and Liberal Party or PRL [Bonaventure MIZIDY]
Union for the Republic or UR
Union of Democratic Forces or UDF
Union for Democracy and Republic or UDR
many smaller parties