News / Africa

Togo Opposition: Election Rigged, Promises Protests

Multimedia

Audio

Togo's main opposition party says it will contest results announced by the electoral commission that indicate the country's president has won re-election.

According to provisional results announced late Saturday by the electoral commission, President Faure Gnassingbe won more than 60 percent of Thursday's ballots, securing his re-election with more than 1.2 million votes.

A presidential supporter in the capital, Lome, says they are celebrating the re-election of Mr. Gnassingbe, who he says is their king and their leader. He says there will be no more need for elections in Togo.

But not everyone in Togo is celebrating.

The opposition says it will challenge the provisional election results within the next week when they are transmitted to Togo's constitutional court.

An opposition supporter says they disagree with the released results, which he says were false.  He says they cannot be sure as to where or who those results came from.  He says the opposition is demanding the real results of the election.

Main opposition candidate, Jean-Pierre Fabre of the Union of Forces for Change Party, led several-hundred opposition demonstrators into the capital's main square Saturday.  Riot police broke up that protest, and one on Sunday, with tear-gas and set up barricades at strategic positions.

Fabre, who had also claimed victory in the poll Friday, says there were voting irregularities, including stuffed ballot boxes.  

Fabre says he does not at all recognize Mr. Gnassingbe's claims to victory.  He says, of course the opposition is going to protest, but those protests will be peaceful.  He says he has not asked for government permission to protest because he says the constitution guarantees him the right to demonstrate.

Results announced by the electoral commission Saturday indicate Fabre came in second with nearly 700,000 votes or just more than a third of the ballots.  Former prime minister Yawovi Agboyibo finished third with less than three percent of the vote.

The poll was widely seen as a test of the democratic process in the West African country.  Its last presidential election in 2005 was marked by violence and accusations of fraud.  President Gnassingbe won that 2005 vote following the death of his father, Gnassingbe Eyadema, who ruled Togo for more than 38 years.

Union of Forces for Change Party (UFC) vice president Patrick Lawson told VOA Sunday the opposition would continue to fight to reclaim what it says is its victory.

Lawson says we cannot let our victory be stolen again and that is why people have urged us to protest.  He said Sunday that you can still hear tear gas being launched at the UFC headquarters in Lome, but he says we are still here and we will continue to resist.

An opposition member of the electoral commission resigned Saturday to protest what he called fraud, saying the results had not been verified and should not have been released.

Observers from the Economic Community of West African States say they believe the vote was fair, but they are expressing concern about the reliability of totals reported to the electoral commission after a breakdown in the satellite system that was to transmit returns from polling stations.

European Union observers said they did not find evidence of vote tampering.   

But the EU team cited certain concerns, such as a lack of permanent ink in some polling places to mark voters' fingers after they had cast their ballots and the possibility that military members may have voted in both the military poll March 1 and the general poll March 4.  

Regional military observers and several-thousand special Togolese forces were deployed to maintain calm during this vote, but there were no reports of violence.  According to U.N. estimates, post-electoral violence in 2005 killed more than 400 people and sent thousands of refugees into Ghana and Benin.

Though the opposition has planned continued demonstrations outside the UFC headquarters in Lome, witnesses say the headquarters is surrounded by security forces and inaccessible to protesters.

You May Like

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that was eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports on how one band is bringing Yiddish tango to Los Angeles.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid