- Associated Press - Saturday, February 20, 2016

BRAZZAVILLE, Congo (AP) - A presidential candidate in Republic of Congo who formerly served as armed forces chief of staff is being investigated for allegedly making statements that threaten state security, the country’s top prosecutor said.

The candidate, Gen. Jean Marie Michel Mokoko, had not responded to a summons for questioning by intelligence services, Andre Oko Ngakala said on state television Friday evening. Security forces earlier blocked off access to Mokoko’s home in the capital, Brazzaville.

Mokoko is suspected of making statements and revealing information that could put state institutions “in grave danger,” Ngakala said.

In recent weeks, a video has been circulating on social media that purportedly implicates Mokoko in planning a coup attempt. His campaign has denounced it as a fraud.

Mokoko is one of 10 candidates challenging President Denis Sassou N’Guesso in a vote scheduled for March 20.

Sassou N’Guesso first ruled the Central African country from 1979 to 1992, when he lost an election. He returned to power in 1997.

In October, voters approved revisions to the constitution’s term and age limits to allow Sassou N’Guesso to run again. The opposition opposed the referendum.

The president officially filed his candidacy on Friday, one day before the deadline.

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