As the opposition swore to contest President Faure Gnassingbe’s re-election in Togo, there are reports coming out of the country that teargas was fired at hundreds of protesters on Sunday. Among the protesters was opposition candidate Jean-Pierre Fabre, who has accused the President Faure Gnassingbe of rigging the country’s elections. Opposition candidate Jean-Pierre Fabre, took shelter in the party headquarters of the Union of Forces for Change (UFC) along with other opposition leaders after armed riot police moved in. A total of between 200 and 300 opposition supporters took to the streets in protest at the results of the elections.
The security response came as the opposition threatened a wave of protests against Gnassingbe, who first came to power amid violent clashes that left hundreds dead in 2005. He is the also the son of the country’s former President Gnassingbe Eyadema. According to official results announced on Saturday, Faure Gnassingbe was re-elected on Thursday’s with 60.9 percent of votes cast, defeating his main rival Fabre who took 33.94 percent..
The Opposition candidate, Fabre, has accused the official electoral agency CENI, of falsifying the results of the elections. He said “I do not recognise the so-called victory of Faure Gnassingbe, I have never wanted to use violence, but if I am stolen from, I will not give up the fight.” He went on to say “We are going to stage protests, we are not going to take this lying down – I totally contest the figures.” But as tensions mounted, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for calm and restraint, and for any grievances to be dealt with through the right legal channels.
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