In Togo, the ruling party largely wins the regional elections, the opposition cries fraud

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At a polling station in Lomé, Togo, April 29, 2024. EMILE KOUTON / AFP

The ruling party in Togo largely won the regional elections held at the end of April, electoral authorities announced on Monday May 6, which consolidates the position of President Gnassingbé after a landslide victory for his party in the legislative elections. The Union for the Republic (UNIR) won 137 seats out of the 179 at stake during the regional election on April 29, according to provisional results published Monday by the independent national electoral commission (CENI). Opposition parties obtained 39 seats, and independents, three. According to the CENI, participation was 61%.

Read also | In Togo, Faure Gnassingbé assured of remaining in power after his party’s victory in the legislative elections

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The results must still be confirmed: by the Constitutional Court, for the legislative elections, and by the Supreme Court, for the regional ones. The regional elections were organized on the same day as the legislative elections, also won hands down by UNIR: the opposition, which had denounced a “electoral masquerade”only gleaned five deputy seats out of 113, and UNIR, the other 108.

“These are not elections, it is an electoral hold-up”, said Paul Dodji Apévon, president of the Democratic Forces for the Republic (FDR), whose party won a single deputy seat. For his part, Nathaniel Olympio, president of the Parti des Togolais (PT), denounced Sunday on “electoral masquerade” and called the opposition to “reorient [sa] struggle “.

“It’s total humiliation”

These allegations of fraud were swept aside by Raymonde Kayi Lawson, UNIR MP. “The opposition can only cry fraud, it’s fair game. It’s total humiliation”she declared, believing that the opposition had “crushed like a Boeing coming down from the sky”. “The opposition must take its responsibilities and get closer to the presidential majority so that we can all build Togo together”added Mme Lawson.

Observers from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union (AU) and the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF) said they were satisfied with the conduct of these elections.

Read also | Article reserved for our subscribers In Togo, legislative elections to lock in the power of Faure Gnassingbé

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The two elections took place after a lightning reform of the Constitution, intended, according to the opposition, to keep President Faure Gnassingbé in power. This change shifted Togo from a presidential regime to a parliamentary regime. Since this reform, power resides in the hands of the president of the council of ministers, who will be the leader of the majority party in the Assembly. This position therefore goes to Mr. Gnassingbé, president of UNIR. The opposition expects him to become president of the council of ministers and to remain so for the next six years, as long as UNIR maintains its majority.

The World with AFP

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