Photo by Issue Sanogo/AFP via Getty Images
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.
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