Ecowas urges Togo vote delay

2015-03-26 05:18

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Lome - West African regional bloc Ecowas has urged Togo to delay its presidential election over claims the voter register was flawed, its chairman said after talks in the country.

Ecowas chair and Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama said during a visit to Togo Tuesday it was unlikely the election would be able to go ahead as planned on 15 April as the electoral roll was being revised.

"As a result, Ecowas proposes that the election is delayed by 10 days to allow the election list to be revised so everyone is satisfied," Mahama told reporters.

He met President Faure Gnassingbe - who is running for re-election - and other officials including the main opposition candidate, during his visit.

Neither the government nor the electoral commission has yet responded to the Ecowas proposal.

The opposition in the tiny west African country claims the electoral roll is plagued with "serious anomalies" and says it must be checked before a transparent vote can be held.

Gnassingbe's main rival Jean-Pierre Fabre has filed a case in Brussels against Zetes, a Belgian organisation tasked with revising Togo's electoral lists, accusing it of forgery.


Paris-based rights group Synergie Togo also says 30% of the names registered on the register are fictional.

Last week, the International Organisation of La Francophonie sent an expert team to the Togolese capital to help the electoral commission there clean up its register.

Mahama said the roll must be revised in order to avoid political violence breaking out over the election, adding that the new list should be ready by the end of this week.

Gnassingbe has already announced he will run for a third term.

He took office in 2005 after the death of his father, General Gnassingbe Eyadema, who ruled with an iron fist for 38 years.

Many in the country believe it is time for an end to the family's grip on power, but the opposition is divided and has so far failed to give the Togolese people a viable alternative.

Read more on:    ecowas  |  togo  |  west africa

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