Low voter turnout in Togo

2015-04-26 20:33
Faure Gnassingbe (AFP, File)

Faure Gnassingbe (AFP, File)

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

Lome - Turnout was low for Togo's weekend vote, boosting the chances of incumbent Faure Gnassingbe staying in power, extending his family's almost 50-tear rule, the electoral commission said.

Of about 3.5 million voters called to polling stations on Saturday, only 53 to 55% took part, the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) said.

Counting began as soon as polling stations closed on Saturday, but by Sunday afternoon, no results had yet been announced. The CENI has another five days to announce the outcome.

Turnout was significantly lower than in 2010, when nearly two thirds of registered voters took part.

Experts had said the narrow chance of a loss for Gnassingbe would depend on massive voter turnout, but civil society groups said participation rates were "very weak".

Gnassingbe has been in power since the death of his father, Gnassingbe Eyadema in 2005, winning contested elections that year and five years later. His father came to power in 1967, and ruled the country with an iron fist.

Gnassingbe's only credible challenger is Jean-Pierre Fabre of the five-party coalition called Combat for Political Change (CAP 2015).

But analysts say divisions within the opposition camp combined with the benefits of incumbency made Fabre's prospects of victory very dim and created a sense of resignation among his supporters.

Few people in Togo, a former French colony of roughly seven million people, have felt the benefit of recent economic growth and according to the government, unemployment is rife at 29%.

While Lome is considered an opposition stronghold, many in the countryside would rather keep Gnassingbe in power than vote in an opposition they mistrust.

Currently there are no limits to the number of times a president can stand for re-election. The opposition has called for a two-term limit.

Read more on:    togo  |  west africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
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 24.com 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.