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Togo Opposition Rejects President's Win

  • Anne Look

Incumbent presidential candidate Faure Gnassingbe casts his ballot in Lome April 25, 2015.

Incumbent presidential candidate Faure Gnassingbe casts his ballot in Lome April 25, 2015.

In Togo, the opposition is challenging the provisional results from Saturday's presidential poll. Those results show President Faure Gnassingbe winning a third term.

Togo’s electoral commission says President Faure Gnassingbe got just under 59 percent of votes against four challengers. Opposition leader Jean Pierre Fabre got 35 percent.

Fabre’s party rejected the results as fraudulent Wednesday. The party says Fabre is the rightful winner by its count.

Fabre says they will "mobilize."

"This coup will not stand. We can't let people stay in power because they can do this. That time is over. They violated the law, electoral commission's procedure and the April 24th accord. We cannot accept it," said Fabre.

International observer missions gave Saturday’s poll marks of approval, but vote counting was held up by accusations of fraud from the opposition.

Disputes over results of Togo's last two presidential elections led to violent protests.

The Gnassingbe family has ruled the West African country for nearly 50 years. Gnassingbe Eyadema took power in a military coup in 1967. He died in 2005 and his son became president.

The president’s supporters started celebrating after provisional results were announced late Tuesday.

“What we know is that we need peace,” said one. “We’ve lived in peace for decades. We can see what this president has done for Togo since he arrived ten years ago.”

Opposition supporters said they were disappointed but not surprised.

“This is not strange,” said another. “It’s always the same thing in this country, but we really need a change. Faure Gnassingbe has already had two mandates. He should step aside and let someone else try."

There are no term limits in Togo. The opposition tried and failed last year to add a two-term limit to the constitution.

Modeste Messavussu contributed to this report from Lome