ECOWAS lauds Togo's election as peaceful despite opposition's rejection

The Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS, H.E. John Dramani Mahama, the President of the Republic of Ghana, accompanied by H.E. Alassan Ouattara, President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire paid a solidarity visit to the Togolese Republic on 28th April 2015 to congratulate the people of Togo on the peaceful conduct of the 2015 Presidential Elections held on 25th April 2015.

The visit of the Chair and his colleague is in line with ECOWAS protocols in extending support and solidarity to Member States holding elections. The Chair had earlier visited the Togolese Republic prior to the holding of the elections.

Presidents Mahama and Ouattara met with all key stakeholders including the two leading Presidential candidates, and the Chairman and bureau of the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) as well as Heads of International Observer Missions who witnessed the elections.

The Chairman and his Colleague urged all stakeholders to continue in the spirit of the peaceful conduct of the elections to see the process to its successful conclusion with the declaration of the results within the constitutionally stipulated time.

The Chair urged the CENI to put in best efforts to conclude the tallying and announcement of the results, while any grievances arising from the process should be directed to the Constitutional Court in line with the laws of the country.

The Chair and President Ouattara commended the people of Togo for their demonstrated commitment to democracy through peaceful elections.  He thanked President Faure Gnassingbe and the leaders of the various political parties for their patriotism. He also thanked the CENI for its professional conduct of the polls.

He acknowledged and thanked the various International Observer Groups and International Organizations for their support.  He particularly noted the technical and mediation efforts extended by the ECOWAS, AU, UN, CENSAD, OIF, UEMOA and the Goree Institute.

Opposition rejects results

Meanwhile Togo’s defeated opposition leader Jean-Pierre Fabre says he considers himself the new president, rejecting official election results.

Earlier, Togo’s official election body declared President Faure Gnassingbe the winner, with a provisional 59% of the vote. Mr Fabre, who gained 35%, told AFP news agency the results were a “crime against national sovereignty”.

Just like ECOWAS, observers from the African Union said the election was free and fair.

Mr Fabre’s party, the opposition Combat for Political Change (Cap 2015), said the results bore “no resemblance to those compiled from reports collected in polling stations by its representatives”.

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President Faure Gnassingbe’s family has ruled Togo for 48 years. Mr. Gnassingbe has ruled since the 2005 death of his father, Gnassingbe Eyadema.

On Monday Mr. Fabre called for a delay in announcing the results, citing widespread irregularities.

The final results still need to be confirmed by the country’s Constitutional Court. Turnout was around 53-55%, according to Ceni – at least 10% lower than the last elections in 2010.

The 2005 elections were overshadowed by fraud allegations and violent protests which left at least 400 people dead.

Last year, opposition protests failed to bring about constitutional changes limiting the president to two terms in office – a move that would have prevented Mr Gnassingbe from standing.

Togo’s GDP has more than doubled since 2005 and economic growth reached 5.6% in 2014.

But critics say the benefits have mainly gone to a wealthy minority, while most ordinary Togolese still suffer from high poverty and unemployment rates.




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