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

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month 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.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid