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Togolese President Wins Re-election to Secure Fourth Term in Office

President Faure Gnassingbé prepares for a fourth term in office following an election wrought with fraud allegations.

Togo's electoral commission has just released the preliminary results of the first round of the presidential election.

President Faure Gnassingbé reportedly secured 72 percent of the vote while his main opposition and former Prime Minister Agbeyome Kodjo who straddled behind with just 18 percent of the vote, according to Aljazeera.


Last month, President Gnassingbé confirmed that he would be running for a fourth presidential term despite several anti-government protests in the past which have called for his resignation. As with the Guinean protests of last year, the Togolese people were also attempting to prevent proposed amendments to the country's constitution that would allow President Gnassingbe to run for another term.

However, those same constitutional amendments were passed and it appears President Gnassingbé is intent on extending his family's largely unrivalled rule over the small West African country. The statesman, who has been in power for 15 years now, took over from his own father Gnassingbé Eyadéma who had ruled Togo since 1967 following a successful military coup.

While the election results are still to be announced by the Supreme Court this week, there have been numerous allegations of fraud from Kodjo. Following the completion of voting this past Saturday, Kodjo's home was allegedly surrounded by military troops, the BBC reports. While it is alleged that Kodjo was at risk of being attacked by "unruly individuals", the opposition leader believes it was a tactic used to facilitate the rigging of votes instead.

DispatchLIVE reports that Kodjo has since vowed to form his own "inclusive government in the coming days" while accusing authorities of "using ballot stuffing and fake polling stations to skew the results in the incumbent's favour."

Interestingly, Aljazeera also reports that just days before the recent election took place, Togo's national election commission revoked the accreditation of the main independent observer who was supposed to monitor the presidential election for the sake of fairness and transparency.

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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