Togo’s opposition leader Jean-Pierre Fabre on Wednesday claimed he had won a weekend presidential vote, despite the electoral commission pronouncing victory for incumbent Faure Gnassingbe. Fabre denounced the results as “fraudulent” and a “crime against national sovereignty” after the electoral commission said he won 34.95 percent of the vote against Gnassingbe’s 58.75 percent. His party, the Combat for Political Change (CAP 2015), said it “categorically” rejected the results, asserting that they bore “no resemblance to those compiled from reports collected in polling stations by its representatives”. Fabre was asked whether he considered himself the new president of Togo and he replied: “Of course!” The opposition leader went into Saturday’s election looking to prevent Gnassingbe from securing a third term of office and end his family’s nearly 50-year grip on power of the tiny west African nation.
Gnassingbe’s father, Gnassingbe Eyadema, seized power in a coup and ruled with an iron fist for 38 years over the former German- and French-administered colony until his death in 2005.
The election results, announced on Tuesday, are provisional and still subject to confirmation by the Constitutional Court, electoral commission chief Taffa Tabiou said.
But outside the headquarters of the ruling party, about 50 of Gnassingbe’s supporters danced to campaign songs late at night shortly after the results were announced. “It is the victory of the Togolese people who want, with the president Faure Gnassingbe, to continue advancing toward progress and in peace,” the presidency said.