Togo President Faure Gnassingbe declared an electoral victory on Monday as official preliminary results showed him re-elected in a landslide, though an opposition candidate also claimed victory and called Monday’s result a “masquerade”.
Glassingbe’s win, if confirmed, will give him a fourth five-year term and extend a family dynasty that began when his father took power in a 1967 coup. But some Togolese worry that a contested outcome could lead to political violence.
Preliminary figures released by the electoral commission showed Gnassingbe winning with 72 percent of the vote, with his main opponent, former prime minister Gabriel Messan Agbeyome Kodjo, at 18%. Longtime opposition leader Jean-Pierre Fabre received just 4%. Final results are expected in the coming days.
“To my unlucky adversaries, I would like to tell them, this is the game of democracy,” Gnassingbe told supporters in the early hours of Monday. “Let’s stop improvising, stop inventing imaginary numbers and submit to the judgment of the Togolese people.”
Kodjo repeated the claim that his camp’s tallies showed him winning the election. He had said before the results were announced that he had won around 60 percent of the vote.