Gnassingbe retained as Togo President

By Ewoenam Kpodo, GNA

Aflao (VR), Feb. 24, GNA – Togo’s National Electoral Commission (CENI) has announced the incumbent President Faure Gnassingbe and leader of the ruling Union for the Republic (UNIR) as winner in Saturday’s presidential election held in the West African country.

The announcement made a few minutes to 0100 hours on Monday, February 24 said Mr Gnassingbe garnered 1,938,889 representing 72.36 per cent of the total ballot cast to secure his fourth bid.

Mr Tchambakou Ayassor, President of CENI who announced the provisional results in a televised press conference monitored by the Ghana News Agency (GNA) said the closest contender, Dr Agbeyome Kodjo obtained 492,336 votes representing 18.37 per cent.

Mr Jean-Pierre Fabre got 116,685 votes representing 4.35 per cent, Professor Tchaboure Gogue had 63, 690 votes (2.38 per cent), Professor Komi Wolou, 30,577 (1.14 per cent), Dr Georges William Kuessan, 20,598 (0.77 per cent) and Mr Mohamed Tchassona Traore got 16,782 votes representing 0.63 per cent.

The announcement, which started around 2230 hours on Sunday night, calling out results on constituency basis revealed the incumbent won in four regions- Savanna, Kara, Plateau and Central, while Dr Kodjo won in the Coastal Region.

The electoral body is expected to submit the final results in the coming days to the Constitutional court for validation.

The victory is Mr Gnassingbe’s fourth since coming into office in 2005, following the death of his father, Gnassingbe Eyadema who ruled Togo for 38 years after coming to power through a coup d’état in 1967.

He later won a re-election in 2010 and a third term in 2015.

Following protests in 2017 and 2018 demanding an end to the five-decade old Gnassingbe rule, Mr Gnassingbe oversaw an overhaul of the country’s constitution, which formerly allowed a candidate to run for as long as he wanted, to two constitutionally mandated five-year terms without retrospective effect, thus, making him eligible to contest in the election this year and again in 2025.

Earlier, Dr Kodjo briefed the media in his home late Saturday to claim a thumping victory for himself saying that he based his assertion on 60 per cent of the results and that, “it is impossible for the outgoing candidate to be elected in the first round.

“I have the conviction that in the coming week, I will lead this country,” he said, describing the vote as a “veritable tsunami,” in his favour.