Lome (AFP) – Togo’s President Faure Gnassingbe has won a third term with 58.75 percent of the vote in Saturday’s polls, the electoral commission said, with his main rival Jean-Pierre Fabre taking 34.95 percent.
“The national electoral commission states that Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe has been elected based on provisional results which are subject to confirmation by the Constitutional Court,” the commission’s head Taffa Tabiou said late Tuesday.
Outside the headquarters of the ruling party, about 50 of his supporters danced to campaign songs late at night shortly after the results were announced.
Fabre could not be reached and his spokesman did not wish to comment.
The president, who first came to power in 2005 on the death of his iron-fisted father Gnassingbe Eyadema, saw his bid for a third term sharply boosted by overwhelming support from the north of the country, a family stronghold.
– No limits on re-election –
The EU, Togo’s leading international lender, said Tuesday the election “went off calmly, confirming the Togolese people’s attachment to democracy.”
The African Union and regional bloc ECOWAS also said the vote was free and transparent.
However later Tuesday the tone eased, with Fabre telling AFP that he would “leave the CENI to do its work”, referring to the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Togolese political analyst David Ihou expressed surprise about the accusations, saying “all records” of the polling stations had been signed by “representatives of each candidate”, and criticised what he termed “an obstructionist strategy” by the opposition.
Gnassingbe swiftly stood down and an election was hastily organised which saw him win his first five-year term, but the result was marred by violence in which 400 to 500 people were left dead and thousands injured, according to the UN.
Togo was formerly administered by Germany then France. It celebrated 55 years of independence on Monday.