Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

Turkish troops to go further into Syria, says foreign minister

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Court ruling expected on Gabon's contested election results

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Clinton's Comedy Turn

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Sarkozy's Populist Pivot, Bahamas Leaks, Syria Truce, Rome Olympic Bid (Part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

US Police Shootings: Race relations and the race to the White House (Part 1)

Read more

#TECH 24

Breaking the wall between technology and people

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Rural France: Challenges and opportunities

Read more

REPORTERS

Video: In Burma, ex-political prisoners struggle to return to normal life

Read more

ENCORE!

Xavier Dolan: Wunderkind of Québecquois cinema

Read more

Africa

Tensions mount as Gnassingbe provisionally re-elected

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-03-07

President Faure Gnassingbe has been re-elected in Togo, based on the provisional results of the vote count. Hundreds of supporters of rival candidate Jean-Pierre Fabre took to the streets in protest, and were dispersed by police.

AFP - Riot police took to the streets of Lome Saturday and security forces dispersed opposition supporters with teargas as final results from Togo's presidential election came in.
  
The police in anti-riot gear and gendarmes fanned out across the seaside capital, setting up barricades at strategic points, and the city's usually-crowded streets were deserted and businesses closed.
  
"We do not know what is going to happen. We are all afraid. We do not know how we will wake up tomorrow," Jean-Luc, a motorcycle taxi driver, told AFP.
  
"It is very simple, we shall wake up in the morning with a gendarme as a companion," one of his colleagues joked, hoping to break the anxious mood.
  
The electoral agency announced late Saturday incumbent President Faure Gnassingbe had been re-elected, beating his opposition rival Jean-Pierre Fabre.
  
Gnassingbe, president since 2005, when he took over after the death of his father Gnassingbe Eyadema who ruled for 38 years, got 1,243,044 votes, the agency said.
  
In the afternoon, news of partial results from the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) prompted tensions in Lome, where the opposition enjoys strong support.
  
Fabre and several hundred supporters of his Union of Forces for Change (UFC) party protested at the way the results were compiled.
  
They headed for Independence Square but security forces dispersed them with teargas.
  
"We were at the Independence Square, we were blocked. We were doused with teargas," UFC official Eric Dupuy told AFP.
  
Fear of violence, which has marred Togo elections in the past, kept many Lome residents in their homes, and businesses closed early.
  
Some 200 youths gathered in front of UFC headquarters in Be district, drinking and singing.
  
"Let Fabre win or there will fire in Lome or otherwise the country will burn," one of them said.
  
Others accosted foreign journalists saying "tell the truth, we no longer want Gnassingbe".
  
The vote was widely seen as a test of whether democracy would find a foothold in this poor country of 6.5 million inhabitants.
  
Besides Fabre and Gnassingbe, five other candidates were in the fray to be the country's next leader.
  
In Wuiti district, home to Lome's university, the mood outside the ruling RPT party headquarters, was calm.
  
About a dozen Gnassingbe supporters wearing green, the party's colour, were also waiting for the official final verdict of the poll, over which the two main candidates have claimed victory.
  
 

Date created : 2010-03-07

COMMENT(S)