Massamba-Débat, Alphonse

Massamba-Débat, Alphonse, 1921–77, Congolese politician. A teacher, he became involved in the independence movement. He was elected to the legislative assembly in 1959 and was its president (1959–61) when the Congo Republic gained independence in 1960. He then served in President Youlou's cabinet until he resigned over Youlou's policies in 1963. After protests forced Youlou's resignation, Massamba-Débat succeeded him, first as prime minister (1963) and then as president (1963–68). In 1964 he declared Congo a one-party state under the National Movement of the Revolution, and undertook a nationalization program. He was ousted in 1968 when the military, led by Marien Ngouabi, seized power. Following Ngouabi's assassination (1977), Massamba-Débat was executed on charges of complicity.

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