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.
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.