Monday, March 08, 2010

Togo: Call for calm following election

Poll worker in Togo's 2010 presidential election in the capital, Lomé

UN - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for calm in Togo, where the provisional results of the 4 March presidential election were announced on Saturday, and for any grievances to be resolved through the proper channels.

“He calls for the same calm and restraint during this period as that which was witnessed on voting day,” Mr. Ban's spokesperson said in a statement.

According to media reports, the incumbent Faure Gnassingbé was re-elected in the race against challenger Jean-Pierre Fabre, who is disputing the results, alleging irregularities in the vote count.

“The Secretary-General reiterates his call on all political leaders and their supporters to refrain from any action that could jeopardize the peaceful conclusion of the electoral process,” said the statement.

“He further calls upon them to resolve any electoral grievances through legal and institutional channels and appeals for any such complaints to be reviewed and adjudicated in a fair and transparent manner.”

Violence which erupted in the West African nation after the sudden death of long-time president Gnassingbé Eyadéma and disputed elections in 2005 left hundreds of people dead and thousands more wounded, and caused tens of thousands to flee to neighbouring Ghana and Benin.

Last week Mr. Ban called the 4 March presidential election a “crucial opportunity” for Togo to continue efforts to consolidate democracy, and urged all segments of society to refrain from moves that could exacerbate tensions before, during or after the poll.

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