Togo's government stands firm on election date

2018-12-14 06:13


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

Togo's government has maintained parliamentary elections will take place later this month, despite an opposition boycott and deadly violence.

"The electoral process is irreversible and the ballot will be held on December 20, 2018," said the Minister of Civil Service Gilbert Bawara in an interview on Wednesday evening.

A coalition of 14 opposition parties has said it will not take part, citing irregularities in preparations and calling for an overhaul of the electoral commission.

It called for 10 days of protest in the run-up to the vote but the government banned the action on security grounds.

Bawara expressed regret at violence between opposition supporters and security forces on Saturday and Monday that officially left four dead. The opposition said six died.

But he denounced "certain political leaders" that openly "incite (the population) to attacks and attacks on police".

"No government can accept that a political party or group of parties seeks to block the country and create disorder and chaos," he added.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook.

Togo has seen a wave of opposition protests since last year calling for a limit to the number of presidential terms and a two-round voting system.

The demonstrations have also called for the resignation of President Faure Gnassingbe, who has been in power since 2005, after taking over from his father, Gnassingbe Eyadema.

Gnassingbe senior ruled Togo for 38 years.

On Thursday, the UN, European Union, and the embassies of the United States, France and Germany said that they are following the situation in Togo "with concern."

"They regret the deaths and the violence," said the statement, and "await the results of the investigations announced by the government" following the last demonstrations.

"They underline the need to preserve a climate of peace and avoid all forms of violence," the statement added.

Talks between the opposition and the government for a way out of the crisis are stalled but Bawara said there was "no prospect" of regional bloc Ecowas meeting to discuss Togo.

Rumours of an extraordinary summit were "a vast manipulation of spirits, misinformation and intoxication", he added.

On the elections, he said Ecowas states were closely monitoring the process.

"The observation missions will be deployed in the field this week," he added.

Read more on:    togo  |  west africa

Inside News24

Most Read
News In Your Area
Top Lifestyle
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 network.