Togo’s President Faure Gnassingbe wins third term

Togo’s President Faure Gnassingbe has been re-elected for a third term, electoral officials say.

Provisional results show that he gained 59% of the vote, extending his family’s 48-year hold on power.

African Union observers said the election was free and fair, despite opposition complaints of voting irregularities.

Mr Gnassingbe has ruled since the death of his father, Gnassingbe Eyadema, who took power in a coup in 1967.

The results still need to be confirmed by the country’s Constitutional Court.

Turnout was around 50%, according to Reuters news agency.

The 2005 elections, which brought Mr Gnassingbe to power, 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.

By:BBC