The Republic of Congo's ruling party has promised a first-round win after formally choosing President Denis Sassou N'Guesso to run for a new term in March.

Pierre Ngolo, the party's secretary general, announced the selection Monday at the end of a two-day convention.

Sassou N'Guesso, 72, first ruled the Central African country from 1979 until 1992, when he lost an election. He returned to power in 1997.

In a referendum last October, voters approved revisions to the constitution's term and age limits that would have barred Sassou N'Guesso from running again.

Sassou N'Guesso's opponents called for a campaign of "civil disobedience" in the run-up to the referendum, but they later appealed for calm after at least four people were killed in demonstrations urging the president to step down.