Togo opposition cries foul as election vote count favours government

Opposition groups in Togo have accused authorities of ballot-stuffing in Monday's legislative and regional elections, where vote counting is still underway. Regional observers, however, judged the polls to be free and fair.

Electoral authorities have yet to release initial results from Monday's vote, which came after lawmakers passed a divisive constitutional reform that critics say will extend President Faure Gnassingbé's grip on power in the small West African state.

It was the first vote since the adoption of the new constitution that created a prime minister-style post that opposition parties believe will allow Gnassingbé to evade term limits.

Gnassingbé, 57, has already won four elections since 2005, all denounced as flawed by the opposition.

The main opposition party boycotted the last parliamentary elections in 2018, citing irregularities.


This year, the Dynamics for the Majority of the People (DMP) opposition alliance said it observed irregularities in several centres including over-voting and delays in the start of voting as well as electoral lists "not displayed" correctly.

Nathaniel Olympio, president of the opposition Togolese Party, accused international organisations of validating "fraudulent elections" and deploying "less than 70 observers" throughout the country.

"This is just the beginning of the massive fraud we have witnessed. We have proof for all of this. We will take recourse and prosecute those involved."

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