Africa

Togo’s Faure Gnassingbé ‘wins re-election’ amid fraud protest

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Togo’s President Faure Gnassingbé has won re-election, according to preliminary results from the electoral commission.

However, opposition leader Agbéyomé Kodjo has accused the authorities of widespread fraud.

The president’s office is quoted by AFP news agency as denying the accusation.

The electoral commission said that Mr Gnassingbé had received 72% of the vote, compared with about 18% for Mr Kodjo.

The final results are expected to be announced by the Supreme Court this week.

Mr Gnassingbé has led Togo’s population of eight million people since taking over following the death of his father Gnassingbé Eyadema, who ruled for 38 years.

Mr Kodjo, former prime minister and head of the national assembly, accused the authorities of setting up fake polling stations in Saturday’s election, ballot stuffing and getting people to cast multiple votes in Mr Gnassingbé’s favour.

People queue to vote at a polling station in Lome, on February 22, 2020, during the presidential elections.

Troops surrounded Mr Kodjo’s home for around three hours after voting finished on Saturday.

Togo’s Security Minister Yark Dameham told Voice of America that Mr Kodjo’s house had been surrounded as a precaution.

“We have received reports that he is at risk of an attack on his house by unruly individuals, but I cannot tell you from which side,” he is quoted as saying.

But Mr Kodjo told the BBC that he was given no explanation and believed this was not for his protection but instead to allow time to rig the vote.

Mr Gnassingbé faced six rivals for the position of president.

Constitutional changes were approved last year allowing him to seek re-election and potentially stay in office until 2030 – an issue which sparked huge protests in 2017-18.

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