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

Report: $60 Billion Leaves Africa Illegally Each Year

Report by joint UN and African Union panel says African countries need to take concrete measures to stop illegal money flow from continent each year More

Video Spy Murder Probe Likely to Further Strain British-Russian Relations

Some analysts say Russian Tu-95 bombers were flying near British airspace to warn Britain about an inquest into a murdered Russian spy More

Mugabe Defends Image Amid Controversy at Close of AU Summit

He rejects concerns about how the West might perceive his leadership, saying he's focused on African development 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.
Spy Murder Probe Likely to Further Strain British-Russian Relationsi
X
Henry Ridgwell
January 31, 2015 10:50 PM
Relations between Russia and the West are set to become even more strained amid an inquiry in London into the murder of a former Russian spy. Lawyers at the inquiry accuse Russian President Vladimir Putin of directing a "mafia state." Meanwhile, Royal Air Force fighters intercepted Russian bombers close to British airspace this week, prompting authorities to summon Moscow’s ambassador. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Spy Murder Probe Likely to Further Strain British-Russian Relations

Relations between Russia and the West are set to become even more strained amid an inquiry in London into the murder of a former Russian spy. Lawyers at the inquiry accuse Russian President Vladimir Putin of directing a "mafia state." Meanwhile, Royal Air Force fighters intercepted Russian bombers close to British airspace this week, prompting authorities to summon Moscow’s ambassador. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Neighborhood Divided Over Conflict

People in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk districts find themselves squarely in the path of advancing Russian-backed rebels, who want to take back the territory they held at the beginning of the conflict last year. Many local residents are afraid, but others would welcome the change, even when a rebel shell lands in their neighborhood. From the Luhansk district, 15 kilometers from where the Ukrainian government marks the front line, VOA’s Al Pessin reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf 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 Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein 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 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.

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