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Togo's opposition demands answers over Bollore graft probe


<p><strong>Togo’s opposition says its wants answers from the government about its dealings with French tycoon Vincent Bollore, who has been charged in France over his business dealings in Africa.</strong></p> <p>The main opposition grouping the National Alliance for Change (<span class="caps">ANC</span>) called on Prime Minister Selom Komi Klassou to provide details about Bollore’s involvement in the main port in Lome.</p> <p><span class="caps">ANC</span> president Isabelle Manavi Ameganvi on Wednesday said a previous letter requesting information, sent two years ago, “remained unanswered”.</p> <p>Bollore, 66, was charged last month in connection with the awarding of two lucrative port concessions in Lome and the Guinean capital Conakry.</p> <p>It was alleged his group’s communications arm undercharged the presidents of Togo and Guinea for work on their election campaigns as sweeteners for contracts to operate both ports.</p> <p>The industrialist has denied any wrongdoing.</p> <p>Ameganvi called on Klassou to answer questions in parliament, in particular over exact details of the tendering process for the Lome port concession.</p> <p>She also wanted to know how much the Bollore group paid to Togo’s treasury since 2010 from contracts linked to state projects.</p> <p>Togo’s civil service minister Gilbert Bawara said last week that the government was “unconcerned” by the French case against Bollore.</p> <p>He called it “ridiculous, scandalous and even a bit condescending to imagine that… a communications firm could have any influence whatsoever over a presidential election in an African state”.</p> <p><strong><em><span class="caps">AFP</span></em></strong></p>
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