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Togo opposition hints at poll boycott

06 June 2013, 10:15

Lome - Togo's main opposition parties on Wednesday said they would not register candidates for next month's legislative elections as conditions for a fair vote were not in place.

Opposition leaders stopped short of saying they planned to boycott the poll, voicing hope that the government would agree to dialogue on sweeping political reforms before the vote.

The registration of candidates closes on Monday.

Togo has been ruled by the same family for more than four decades and past elections have been marred by allegations of widespread fraud.

The legislative polls had initially been slated for October, but were repeatedly pushed back by the government of President Faure Gnassingbe.

"For the moment, we will not register candidates for these elections," said ex-prime minister Agbeyome Kodjo, now a key member of the Let's Save Togo coalition which has called on Gnassingbe to resign.

Jean Pierre Fabre, who heads the Alliance for National Change party, said significant changes were needed to ensure "transparent and credible elections".

Let's Save Togo has organised waves of protests against Gnassingbe in recent months and the government has showed few signs of being willing to negotiate reforms.

The opposition has called for an overhaul of the electoral commission among other demands.

Togo was led with an iron fist by Gnassingbe Eyadema from 1967 until his death in 2005, when the military installed his son as president.



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