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

Mugabe Dismisses Male-Female Equality

'It is not possible that women can be at par with men' incoming African Union president declares on eve of summit More

Somali Terror Suspect's Light Sentence Raises Questions

Abdullahi Yusuf, 18, could have spent 15 years in prison but judge instead sentenced him to a halfway house, and a program to try to integrate him back into the community More

Video Kobani Ravaged Following Kurdish Ouster of IS Militants

Even so, hundreds of refugees sheltering in Turkey seek to return; Kurdish forces hold some back, saying fighting continues 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.
Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Goghi
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid