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Togo Opposition Complains About New Government


Togo's main opposition party has formally complained to the mediator charged with setting up a new national unity government. The party, known by its acronym U.F.C., says it is disappointed it did not get the prime minister's post it says it was promised.

A new national unity government was named in Togo last week, but without the UFC in key positions. Its leader, Gilchrist Olympio, the son of the slain independence leader, has been barred from running in recent elections because of residency requirements.

Party General Secretary Jean-Pierre Fabre says it is bad omen to once again get things started with a flawed new government.

He says there are concerns that the injustices of the past will not be corrected, if mistakes that are being made during this national unity process are not immediately corrected.

Fabre says under the deal, the UFC was promised the prime minister's post. But last week Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe named Yawovi Agboyibo, a human-rights activist, as the new prime minister.

The majority of the ministerial posts in the new government are still held by the ruling party.

Fabre says the problem is not who has been appointed to what post, but why promises have been broken.

He does not believe the new government should be called a national unity government. He also says it will not, as initially hoped, calm down the tense political situation.

Riots broke out when President Gnassingbe won elections last year, after open cheating in his favor by the military.

The military first installed Mr. Gnassingbe when his father died after ruling Togo for more than three decades.

Fabre says his party has asked Togo's current mediator, Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore, to bring their concerns to the government. The opposition has threatened to boycott the upcoming legislative election if they are not given assurances these will be free and fair.

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