AFRICA/TOGO - Tension in view of parliamentary elections: the opposition takes to the street

Friday, 30 November 2018


Sokodè (Agenzia Fides) – On 20 December Togo will hold parliamentary elections even though the political crisis appears never ending, local sources told Fides. In view of the vote two demonstrations have been organised, one for 29 November and the second for 1st December. Lomé, Kpalimé, Atakpamé, Sokodé, Bassar and Dapaong, are the centres chosen by the Coalition formed of opposition groups. The coalition leaders call for the electoral process to stop and the people to take to the streets.
Fides learned that the Coalition is demanding the re-organisation of the office of the Independent Electoral Commission CENI and all election preparatory activities. The Coalition says it does not intend to present candidates and will call for new demonstrations to denounce irregularities in the electoral process.
The Constitutional Court ratified the lists of 12 parties and 17 more lists of independent candidates. The electoral campaign will open officially on 4 December.
“We will tolerate fraudulent elections in Togo, the Coalition coordinator, Brigitte Adjamagbo-Johnson, told a local radio. We rejkect the farce in preparation. We have already appealed to the Commission of the Economic Community of West Africa ECOWAS, the regional organization which is following closely the political crisis in Togo”, she added. “With these demonstrations we intend simply to exercise our constitutional right to express our dissent ”, Ms Johnson declared.
Last week the Minister of Security, general Yark Damehame, warned of possible violence aimed at interrupting the electoral process. “Boycotting is a democratic choice. We have no intention of causing destruction or riots”, general Damehame told a local radio.
In September 2017, a human flood poured onto the streets of Lomé and in several important northern cities at the request of the Coalition, to demand the resignation of president Faure Gnassingbe, in power since 2005, following the death of his father who governed Togo for 38 years.
(SG/AP) (30/11/2018 Agenzia Fides)