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Togo

Yearbook 1999

Togo. The March parliamentary elections were boycotted by the opposition in protest of cheating in the 1998 presidential election. According to Countryaah official website, the RPT ruling party won all but two mandates, which went to independent candidates. In May, former UN official Eugene Koffi Adoboli was named new prime minister.

Following the mediation of French President Jacques Chirac, the government and opposition were reconciled in July. New elections were announced until March 2000, and President Gnassingbé Eyadéma promised to resign at the 2003 presidential election.

1999 Togo

In 2007, parliamentary elections were scheduled to be held in June, but in May the Election Commission postponed them to October. As a justification, the Commission stated that it was necessary to clear out the electoral rolls and that software should be developed to facilitate the counting of votes.

The October parliamentary election was won by Gnassingbé's RPT party, which got 72 out of Parliament's 81 seats. In early December, President RPT appointed member Komlan Mally to the post of Prime Minister.

After just 9 months on the post, Mally resigned in September 2008. He was replaced by Gilbert Houngbo. Observers pointed out that Mally had been a weak prime minister and that was the reason for his replacement. Houngbo was a relatively unknown technocrat who had been employed by the UNDP.

The March 2010 presidential election was won by Gnassingbé with 61% of the vote ahead of opposition Jean-Pierre Fabre, who got 34%. The election triggered huge tensions in the opposition party UFC, which had originally nominated its founder and president, Gilchrist Olympio. But when this was in the United States for consideration in January, the party appointed its Secretary-General Jean-Pierre Fabre instead. Tensions between the two wings of the party further intensified after the election, and at the end of May Olympio entered into a political agreement with Prime Minister Houngbo on his own, leading to the UFC joining 7 ministers in his new government. The deal led Olympio's opponents to demand him excluded by the party.

Throughout 2010, the opposition organized peaceful demonstrations in protest of the March election results. The demonstrations were routinely attacked by police. In June, 1 demonstrator was killed by police. Dozens injured throughout the year and hundreds arrested. Police routinely used tear gas against the protesters. There is widespread impunity for the Togo police, and the person responsible for the murder in June was not brought to justice either.

Following criticism from Amnesty International in the fall of 2011 for police use of torture, the national human rights organization initiated an investigation. However, its February 2012 report was censored and the government instead issued its own "report" releasing the police from liability. CNDH chairman Koffi Kounté confirmed to Amnesty that he had been threatened and that the investigations confirmed that the police were using torture. The government's censorship of reports triggered both national and international protests for which the government ultimately bowed. It accepted the report's conclusions and promised to fight the widespread impunity for the security forces. But by the end of the year, no steps had been taken in this direction. The authorities continued to use torture.

 

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