Togo court strips opposition of seats

2010-11-23 22:03

Lome - Nine Togolese lawmakers lost their parliamentary seats after they broke away from the main opposition party in protest against a power-sharing arrangement, the country's top court ruled.

Last month, the nine lawmakers splintered from the main opposition UFC party after it announced a power-sharing deal with the ruling RPT party.

In its ruling read on state television on Monday evening, the court said that the lawmakers had written letters of resignation to the head of the parliament, saying they were leaving for "political convenience".

An advisor to the new party strongly rejected the ruling, telling a private radio station that lawmakers had never written these letters.

The affair has left the Togolese opposition hopelessly split. The UFC now counts just seven seats, out of 27 that it gained after 2007 elections. The ruling RPT dominates parliament with 50 seats.