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Togo

Yearbook 1998

Togo. According to Countryaah, the country's residents went to presidential elections June 21. President Gnassingbé Eyadéma, who has been in power for 31 years, ran for another five-year term. His main contender was Gilchrist Olympio, son of Togo's first President Sylvanus Olympio, who was killed by a coup led by Eyadéma in 1963. Gilchrist Olympio has been living in exile since 1992, when he was seriously shot dead in an attack in connection with the election campaign for the country's first multi-party.

1998 Togo

Prior to this year's election, four of the country's five opposition parties had requested that the election be postponed because many of the voters had not yet registered. But the Ministry of the Interior announced that the election would be held as planned and that all voting cards would be sent out by the election day. During the election campaign, the president eased a bit on his normally total grasp of the main media and allowed some of the opposing candidates to hold election speeches in the state television.

On June 24, it was announced that Eyadéma had gained his own majority already in the first round of elections and thus lost the election. However, the election results were questioned by both the EU and foreign election observers and Western diplomats. The election count had been canceled on June 22 when it looked like Eyadéma would lose. Several members of the National Election Commission resigned the following day after threats and pressure from "unidentified" holdings. Government officials said they had taken over the vote and could announce that Eyadéma received 52% of the vote. Demolitions in protest against the election result erupted in the capital Lomé. Hundreds of youths clashed with police, who met protesters with tear gas and batons.

 
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