News Alerts

21 Dec 2018 | 10:24 AM UTC

Togo: Legislative elections passed off peacefully Dec. 20

Togo News Alert

Low turnout during legislative elections December 20; provisional results to be announced December 26

TIMEFRAME expected from 12/21/2018, 12:00 AM until 12/27/2018, 11:59 PM (Africa/Lome). COUNTRY/REGION Togo

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Event

Legislative elections took place peacefully on Thursday, December 20, despite high tensions across the country. A heightened security presence was reported in major urban centers, notably in the capital Lomé, as authorities feared potential violence by supporters of the C14 opposition coalition, who previously staged numerous protests to denounce the vote. A low turnout was reported, notably in Lomé, due to the opposition boycott. As such, the ruling UNIR (Union pour la République) party is likely to win these elections. The provisional results should be released on December 26. Political gatherings are possible ahead and after the release of the results and clashes cannot be ruled out. Heightened security measures are likely to remain in effect, notably in Lomé.

Context

Between December 8 and December 11, eight people were killed in protests in the capital Lomé, as well as in other urban centers, such as Kpalimé, Sokodé, Mango, Bafilo, Bassar, and Tchamba.

The C14 opposition coalition called for protests to denounce the December 20 legislative elections and prevent the vote from taking place, claiming that the elections will be "fraudulent." The wave of political protests came amid negotiations - which resumed on June 27 after a three-month suspension - between the government and the opposition. According to a statement issued by opposition leaders, the government has refused to comply with a list of previously agreed-upon demands, including a return to the 1992 constitution as well as a referendum on constitutional amendments to reform the electoral system. Furthermore, the coalition accuses the government of blocking the implementation of a roadmap outlined by the regional organization ECOWAS to end the ongoing political crisis. According to the C14, the government continues to arrest opposition activists and has refused to release detainees.

Advice

Individuals in Togo are advised to monitor local media, avoid all demonstrations due to the risk of violence, and refrain from discussing domestic political issues in public.

 

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