Togo kicks off presidential election campaign

2015-04-10 16:34
Faure Gnassingbe (File: AFP)

Faure Gnassingbe (File: AFP)

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Lome - Togo officially began its presidential election campaign on Friday with President Faure Gnassingbe's challenger Jean-Pierre Fabre seeking to end nearly 50 years of rule by the Gnassingbe family.

The first day of campaigning was low-key, with posters put up in the capital Lome of Gnassingbe and Fabre, leader of the main opposition Combat for Political Change (CAP) coalition.

The president is seeking a third term in office on 25 April. He took over in 2005 after the death of his father, General Gnassingbe Eyadema, who ruled the tiny west African nation for 38 years.

Fabre's 123-page manifesto notably promises an end to impunity, corruption and "repeated violations of the constitution and laws".

Serious anomalies

On his Facebook page, Gnassingbe, who won re-election in 2010, also promised to fight graft and to push ahead with major infrastructure projects.

The build-up to the election, which was initially scheduled for 15 April, has been dominated by opposition attempts to limit the number of terms a president can serve.

Civil society groups also objected to what they said were "serious anomalies" in the electoral roll, forcing a 10-day postponement while the matter was investigated.

The Paris-based non-governmental organisation Synergie Togo claimed that 30% of voters on the list did not exist.

The International Organisation of La Francophonie this week announced the problems with the electoral roll had been "partly resolved" and the opposition said it was satisfied with the changes.

The election campaign runs until 23 April. Togo's armed forces will vote on 22 April, allowing them to provide security on polling day, the government said on Thursday evening.

Read more on:    faure gnassingbe  |  togo  |  togo elections 2015  |  west africa

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