Togo's Faure Gnassingbe wins third term as president

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Togo"s Incumbent President Faure Gnassingbe speaks to media after he casting his ballot at a polling station in Lome, Togo, Saturday, April 25, 2015Image source, AP
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President Faure Gnassingbe's family have ruled Togo for 48 years

Togo's President Faure Gnassingbe has been re-elected for a third term, electoral officials say.

Provisional results show that he gained 59% of the vote, extending his family's 48-year hold on power.

Observers from the African Union and regional bloc Ecowas said the election was free and fair, despite opposition complaints of voting irregularities.

Mr Gnassingbe has ruled since the death of his father, Gnassingbe Eyadema, who took power in a coup in 1967.

His main rival, opposition candidate Jean-Pierre Fabre, took 35% of the vote.

Mr Fabre on Monday called for a delay in announcing the results, citing widespread irregularities.

But later, he said that he would leave the country's Independent National Electoral Commission (Ceni) "to do its work".

The results still need to be confirmed by the country's Constitutional Court.

Turnout was around 53-55%, according to Ceni - at least 10% lower than the last elections in 2010.

Image source, AFP
Image caption,
Campaign posters with Faure Gnassingbe say that Togo is "on the way to progress"

The 2005 elections, which brought Mr Gnassingbe to power, were overshadowed by fraud allegations and violent protests which left at least 400 people dead.

Last year, opposition protests failed to bring about constitutional changes limiting the president to two terms in office - a move that would have prevented Mr Gnassingbe from standing.

Togo's GDP has more than doubled since 2005 and economic growth reached 5.6% in 2014.

But critics say the benefits have mainly gone to a wealthy minority, while most ordinary Togolese still suffer from high poverty and unemployment rates.

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