Togo's ruling party wins legislative vote

2013-07-29 10:56
Faure Gnassingbe (AFP, File)

Faure Gnassingbe (AFP, File)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Lome - Togo's ruling party, led by a man whose family has governed the small West African nation for 46 years, increased its share of the legislature in last week's elections, the electoral commission announced Sunday.

The provisional results dealt a blow to opposition leaders who had hoped recent signs of discontent would translate into gains at the ballot box. A spokespersonfor one of the leading opposition parties said the results were unacceptable and vowed to challenge them.

President Faure Gnassingbe's Union for the Republic party won 62 of 91 seats, up from 50 of the legislature's 81 seats in 2007, according to totals read out on state television Sunday night by Angele Aguigah, the electoral commission president. The Let's Save Togo opposition coalition came in second with 19 seats, followed by the Rainbow Coalition with six seats and the Union of Forces for Change with three seats. The final seat went to a small independent party.

The official results immediately drew cries of protest from the opposition, who had earlier faulted the government for mismanaging the poll, citing delays caused by missing ballot papers and other materials when voters lined up Thursday morning. But observers from the West African regional bloc ECOWAS and the African Union both said the poll had been conducted fairly well, with no irregularities that would undermine the results.

"We cannot accept these results. We already knew that they were more or less prepared," said Eric Dupuy, press secretary for the opposition National Alliance for Change, a member of the Let's Save Togo coalition.

"We have always said the elections were made in haste and there is a lot of fraud and irregularities. We will show this in the hours and days ahead," Dupuy added.

He said the opposition planned to appeal to the Constitutional Court, which announces final results.


Eyadema Gnassingbe came to power in Togo through a coup in 1967 and ruled for 38 years until his death in 2005, when his son Faure Gnassingbe, the current president, took over. Development has lagged under Gnassingbe, and the African Development Bank has voiced particular concern about youth unemployment and underemployment in a country where 60 percent of the population is under 25.

The build-up to last week's vote had seen increasingly daring protests by the regime's opponents. Large-scale demonstrations against a change to the electoral law last year forced the government to delay the legislative election, originally scheduled for last October. The following month, female activists announced a weeklong sex strike to call for the president's resignation.

This year, tension was exacerbated by mysterious fires in January at major markets in Lome and the northern city of Kara. The opposition has accused the government of using the fires as a pretext to arrest its activists, some of whom remain behind bars.

To channel that anger toward an electoral win, the opposition would have had to overcome its own divisions and the ruling party's superior resources, but analysts said opposition leaders had failed to unite and present a coherent message to voters during the campaign period.

They also questioned whether the ruling party would have actually allowed its majority to shrink. While international observers said the 2007 legislative and 2010 presidential elections were improvements over 2005's highly flawed and violent poll, opposition leaders still accused the ruling party of vote-rigging and ballot-stuffing.

- AP

Read more on:    faure gnassingbe  |  togo  |  west africa

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


The ANC's election claims examined - Report

In the run-up to the 7 May election, the ANC says it has a “good story to tell” about its performance over that period. This is the first of two reports evaluating key claims.


Latest elections multimedia

Watch what happened when we blindfolded Helen Zille and asked her to eat random things
13 days to elections - news you need to know
11 Julius Malema quotes you'll never forget
DA won't get 30% - Zille
  • Friday Cape Town - 09:50 AM
    Road name: N2 Westbound
    ROADWORKS - right lane closed at the Robert Sobukwe Road exit
  • Friday Kuils River - 09:40 AM
    Road name: Van Riebeeck Road Northbound
    DELAYS approaching Stellenbosch Arterial Road
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

24 hour sale- 30% off homeware & appliances

Today only get 30% off selected electric blankets, heaters, kettles, coffee machines & so much more. Offer expires midnight 25 April. While stocks last. Shop now!

Mother’s Day special offers!

Spoil mom with these awesome specials that will warm her heart. Shop now!

Twisp – the smoking alternative

Buy any 2 refills for R250 and save R149. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Mother’s Day specials on appliances

Browse our range of Mother’s Day appliances to spoil and pamper mom. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 8520

Wi-Fi enabled With the BlackBerry Curve 8520 connect to your home...

From R1100.00

I'm shopping for:


Treat yourself to something beautiful. You tend to put so much energy in making everything around you work harmoniously, more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.