Map of Congo Brazzaville

Congo Brazzaville leading opposition presidential candidate, Mr Guy-Brice Parfait Kolélas has died hours after polls closed.

Mr Guy-Brice Parfait Kolélas , who has been ill with covid 19 died on a plane taking him to France for treatment, his campaign director Christian Cyr Rodrigue Mayanda said.

Mr Kolélas had missed his final campaign event on Friday after saying a day earlier that he feared he had malaria.

He was admitted to a private hospital in the capital, Brazzaville, and it was later confirmed that he had Covid-19.

Hours earlier the 61-year-old had appeared in a video shared on social media, where he removed his oxygen mask and told his supporters that he was “fighting death” and urged them to vote in Sunday’s poll.

Mr Kolélas, was one of six candidates running against President Denis Sassou Nguesso, 77, who has been in power since 1979, except for a five-year period after losing elections in 1992.

Kolelas finished runner-up to leader Denis Sassou Nguesso in the 2016 presidential election with about 15 percent of the vote.

The electoral law doesn’t annul the election if one of the candidates dies.