Togo delays elections over voter list concerns

Presidential polls to be held 10 days later, after West African economic group said voter list needed revising.

    Opposition parties say thousands of people who have registered twice are likely to vote for President Faure Gnassingbe [AFP]
    Opposition parties say thousands of people who have registered twice are likely to vote for President Faure Gnassingbe [AFP]

    Togo will delay presidential elections by 10 days to April 25, after the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said the voter list needed to be revised.

    Opposition parties say the list includes thousands of people who have registered twice and are likely to vote for President Faure Gnassingbe.

    In a statement read on national television by Communications Minister Koumealo Anate on Friday, the government said the move showed its "open-mindedness and its spirit of conciliation and desire for a peaceful election".

    There was no immediate comment from opposition or union leaders.

    Gnassingbe is expected to win the vote and secure a third term in power. He was installed as president by the army in 2005 when his father died after leading the nation for 38 years.

    Gnassingbe stepped down under international pressure but went on to win a hotly-contested election months later and was re-elected for a second term in 2010.

    Attempts to introduce term limits have been blocked in parliament, where Gnassingbe's party has a majority.

    Late last year, opposition supporters took to the streets with civil society groups to demand reforms.

    SOURCE: Reuters And AFP


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