Togo opposition claims ‘irregularities’ in poll

The main opposition party in Togo has claimed widespread irregularities in the country’s presidential election.

People in Togo voted on Thursday to chose a new head of state – five years after hundreds died following the last, disputed election.

President Faure Gnassingbe is running for a second term, and his main challenger is Jean Pierre Fabre of the Union of Forces for Change (UFC).

All parties have been stressing the need for a peaceful poll.

The UFC has pointed to several problems with the voting that it says could lead to fraud.

The ballot papers did not have serial numbers, only the stubs did.

The numberless ballot papers can be used to stuff ballot boxes from elsewhere, the UFC says.

“The electoral code has not been respected. Nothing has been done today to ensure the transparency of this vote,” the UFC head of communications Eric Dupuy told the News Agency.

More than 500 observers from the African Union, the West African group Ecowas and the European Union are monitoring the vote.

An election observer in Lome told the News Agency the process so far was “slow but peaceful”.

News Agency correspondents say President Gnassingbe is hoping to be re-elected in circumstances that will win the approval that was so lacking at the last election.



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