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Incumbent Gnassingbe Declared Provisional Winner of Togo Vote

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

Election authorities in Togo have declared incumbent President Faure Gnassingbe the provisional winner of Saturday's election, continuing his family's longstanding hold on power.

Election commission chairman Taffa Tabiou announced Gnassingbe got about 1.2 million votes, or 59 percent, with leading challenger Jean Pierre Fabre second with about 35 percent.

If Gnassingbe is confirmed, it will extend his family's hold on power in the West African nation to more than a half-century. He assumed office in 2005 upon the death of his father, Gnassingbe Eyadema, who ruled the former French colony for 38 years.

Fabre has complained of irregularities in the polling process, but U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon praised Saturday's vote and called on the country's political leaders to "continue to maintain the peaceful atmosphere" of the election process.

An observer from the regional bloc ECOWAS says there were no major incidents in the voting.

Tabiou said election results are subject to confirmation by the Constitutional Court.

Election officials said about 54 percent of Togo's 3.5 million registered voters took part in the vote.

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