1. Država u centralnoj Africi.
2. Glavna reka Centralne Afrike.
Country in W central Africa, bounded N by Cameroon and the Central African Republic, E and S by Zaire, W by the Atlantic Ocean, and NW by Gabon.
The 1992 constitution provides for a directly elected president and two elected chambers, a 125-member national assembly and a 60-member senate. The president and the national assembly are elected for five-year terms and the senate for a six-year term. The president appoints a prime minister from the majority party within the assembly.
Occupied from the 15th century by the Bakongo, Bateke, and Sanga, the area was exploited by Portuguese slave traders. From 1889 it came under French administration, becoming part of French Equatorial Africa 1910.
The Congo became an autonomous republic within the French Community 1958, and Abbé Fulbert Youlou, a Roman Catholic priest who involved himself in politics and was suspended by the church, became prime minister and then president when full independence was achieved 1960. Two years later plans were announced for a one-party state, but in 1963, after industrial unrest, Youlou was forced to resign.
A new constitution was approved, and Alphonse Massamba-Débat, a former finance minister, became president, adopting a policy of “scientific socialism”. The National Revolutionary Movement (MNR) was declared the only political party. In 1968 Capt Marien Ngouabi overthrew Massamba-Débat in a military coup, and the national assembly was replaced by a National Council of the Revolution. Ngouabi proclaimed a Marxist state but kept economic links with France.
In 1970 the nation became the People's Republic of the Congo, with the Congolese Labour Party (PCT) as the only party, and in 1973 a new constitution provided for an assembly chosen from a single party list. In 1977 Ngouabi was assassinated, and Col Joachim Yhombi-Opango took over. He resigned 1979 and was succeeded by Denis Sassou-Nguessou, who moved away from Soviet influence and strengthened links with France, the US, and China.
In 1984 Sassou-Nguessou was elected for another five-year term. He increased his control by combining the posts of head of state, head of government, and president of the central committee of the PCT.
In 1990 the PCT announced political reforms, including the abandonment of Marxist-Leninism and an eventual end of the one-party system; in 1991 the country was renamed the Republic of Congo.
multiparty system adopted
A new constitution was approved by referendum March 1992, and multiparty elections were held in Aug. A coalition dominated by the Pan-African Union for Social Democracy (UPADS) won the most assembly seats, though no overall majority, and Pascal Lissouba became the country's first democratically elected president.
In the June 1993 elections the UPADS-led coalition won 69 of the 125 assembly seats but the opposition queried the results and they were ultimately declared void. Lissouba appointed former military leader Jacques-Joachim Yhombi-Opango of the Rally for Democracy and Development as prime minister, whereupon the opposition coalition chose a rival prime minister, Jean-Pierre Thystere-Tchikayu, to head a parallel “government of national unity”. Re-run elections Oct 1993 were declared void. In Feb 1994 an international panel examining the disputed elections declared that, although results in nine constitutencies were invalid, the UPADS-led coalition retained its absolute assembly majority.
Former name (1960–71) of Zaire.
Formerly (until 1971) Congo Second-longest river in Africa, rising near the Zambia–Zaire border (and known as the Lualaba River in the upper reaches) and flowing 4,500 km/2,800 mi to the Atlantic Ocean, running in a great curve that crosses the equator twice, and discharging a volume of water second only to the Amazon. The chief tributaries are the Ubangi, Sangha, and Kasai.
Navigation is interrupted by dangerous rapids up to 160 km/100 mi long, notably from the Zambian border to Bukama; below Kongolo, where the gorge known as the Gates of Hell is located; above Kisangani, where the Stanley Falls are situated; and between Kinshasa and Matadi.
Boma is a large port on the estuary; Matadi is a port 80 km/50 mi from the Atlantic, for oceangoing ships; and at Pool Malebo (formerly Stanley Pool), a widening of the river 560 km/350 mi from its mouth which encloses the marshy island of Bamu, are Brazzaville on the western shore and Kinshasa on the southwestern. The Inga Dam supplies Matadi and Kinshasa with electricity.
The mouth of the Zaďre was seen by the Portuguese navigator Diego Căo 1482, but the vast extent of its system became known to Europeans only with the explorations of David Livingstone and Henry Stanley.