Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

WWI Centenary: the battle for Verdun

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

When big companies want to do good

Read more

FOCUS

Many Turks angry over Syrian refugee situation

Read more

ENCORE!

Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday : The Best of the Bard

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

The Tour de France, a PR machine

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Coverage of the third plane crash in one week - from France, Algeria and Burkina Faso

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Coverage of the plane crash that took 116 lives - almost half of them French

Read more

  • Live: ‘No survivors’ from Algerian plane crash, says Hollande

    Read more

  • In pictures: Debris and devastation at Air Algérie Flight AH5017 crash scene

    Read more

  • Paris bans new Gaza protest scheduled for Saturday

    Read more

  • Lithuania’s Navardauskas wins 19th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • French families grieve for Algerian plane crash victims

    Read more

  • Protest against Gaza offensive turns deadly in West Bank

    Read more

  • LA Times wipes France off the map in air crash infographic

    Read more

  • Tour de France fans bring the ambience to the Pyrenees

    Read more

  • Halal tourism on the rise

    Read more

  • French lawyer files complaint against Israel at ICC

    Read more

  • Ukraine names acting PM after Yatseniuk's shock resignation

    Read more

  • BNP to pay $80 million for defrauding Dept of Agriculture

    Read more

  • Deadly strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Wreckage of Algeria plane found in Mali

    Read more

  • Pope meets Christian woman sentenced to death in Sudan

    Read more

Africa

Opposition rejects re-election of President Gnassingbe

Video by Yuka ROYER , Luke SHRAGO

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-03-07

Togo's main opposition party on Sunday rejected the re-election of President Faure Gnassingbe and vowed to fight for justice. Opposition supporters were dispersed by police on Saturday after taking to the streets in protest.

REUTERS - Togo’s defeated opposition said on Sunday it would contest an election result last week which returned President Faure Gnassingbe as leader of the West African state.
 
The election was seen as a test for democracy in a region that in recent weeks has seen a coup in Niger and street riots over delayed elections in Ivory Coast. Togo’s last presidential poll in 2005 sparked violence in which hundreds died.
 
Gnassingbe, who took over after 38 years of dictatorship under his father Gnassingbe Eyadema, won 1.24 million of 2.1 million cast votes in Thursday’s election.
 
His closest rival, Jean-Pierre Fabre, scored around 692,000 votes, the electoral commission said on Saturday. Both sides had claimed victory on Friday.
 
“We will contest these figures constituency by constituency to show there has been ... an electoral hijack,” Koffi Yamgnane, spokesman for Fabre’s UFC party, told French radio station RFI.
 
International observers said the poll had gone smoothly, despite some procedural flaws. More than 3,000 local and nearly 500 European and West African observers monitored the election.
 
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called in a statement for the same “calm and restraint” that was seen on voting day and urged political leaders to resolve any electoral grievances through “legal and institutional channels.”
 
The opposition has eight days to convince the constitutional court Gnassingbe’s victory was unlawful. Hours before the result was announced, police fired teargas to break up a protest by supporters of Fabre. Ten people were arrested in the clash.
 
"No" to violent protest
 
The protests that followed Gnassingbe’s first victory in 2005 triggered a security crackdown in which up to 500 were killed, according to U.N. estimates at the time.
 
The UFC said there would be no violent protest this time.
 
“We have no intention of protesting violently,” party spokesman Yamgnane said.
 
The streets of the capital Lome were calm over the weekend and life was returning to normal, residents said.
 
“We’ve opened for business this morning, though we’re keeping a eye on the street,” said market trader Da Mensah. “We can’t stay at home because of politicians.”
 
Turnout was just under 65 percent, according to a statement on the Togolese government website. Half the 6.6 million population were registered to vote.
 
“If people have voted then stay calmly at home, the army won’t get involved,” said motorcycle taxi driver Jean Anoumou, who said he had been working all night. “I don’t think there will be violence like there was in 2005.”
 
Togo is a top five producer of phosphates, which are used in fertilisers, but remains poor and dependent on foreign aid.
 
Togo faced international criticism after the 2005 violence and foreign aid was suspended but a parliamentary election two years later was judged fair enough for aid to be restored and ties made with bodies such as the International Monetary Fund.
 
Togo is near the bottom of the U.N.’s human development index and saw several years of negative growth in the past decade. The state budget for 2010 is around 500 CFA francs or $1.09 billion.
 
Togo’s phosphate industry has gone into decline due to a lack of investment, with annual output slipping to around 900,000 tonnes from 1.2 million in 2006.

Date created : 2010-03-07

  • TOGO

    Poll officials confirm re-election of President Gnassingbe

    Read more

  • TOGO

    Police use teargas to disperse protestors after disputed election

    Read more

  • TOGO

    Opposition candidate claims victory ahead of poll results

    Read more

COMMENT(S)