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All You Need To Know: Togo’s February 2020 presidential vote

All You Need To Know: Togo’s February 2020 presidential vote


<p>The significance of the February 22 vote is that it will be the first presidential polls after constitutional changes occasioned by anti-government protests which started three years ago.</p> <p>Togo’s incumbent Faure Gnassingbe will be contesting for the first of two constitutionally mandated five-year terms. Previously, the law allowed a candidate to run for as long as he wanted. That changed with the amendments that followed protests in 2017 and 2018.</p> <p>But given that they did not have retrospective effect, Faure’s 15 years in office (2005 – 2020) did not count. It leaves him with a possible ten years to finally quit the presidency. If he wins the February 2020 polls, he is eligible to contest again in 2025 for a final term.</p> <p>The elections body cleared ten candidates but three were kicked out by the Constitutional Court. The president is the frontrunner but will be given his strongest opposition by Jean-Pierre Fabre, who was the leader of the protests that forced reforms especially on term limits for the presidency. Another big name in the race is a former Prime Minister in the person of Professor Agbeyome Kodjo who leads a coalition.</p> <h2 style="font-size:16px;">text </h2> The seven candidates are as follows (in no particular order): <ul> <li>Faure Gnassingbe, 54, leader of the Union for the Republic (<span class="caps">UNIR</span>)</li> <li>Mr Jean-Pierre Fabre, 68, president of National Alliance for Change (<span class="caps">ANC</span>)</li> <li>Agbeyome Kodjo, 66, Ex Prime Minister leading a coalition, the Patriotic Movement for Democracy and Development (<span class="caps">MPDD</span>)</li> <li>Tchaboure Gogue, 73, Alliance of Democrats for Integral Development (<span class="caps">ADDI</span>)</li> <li>Georges William Kuessan, 53, People’s Health Party</li> <li>Mr Mohamed Tchassona Traore, 60, Citizen Movement for Democracy and Development (<span class="caps">MCDF</span>)</li> <li>Komi Wolou, 56, Socialist Pact for Renewal (<span class="caps">PSR</span>).</li> </ul> <h2 style="font-size:16px;"> The Gnassingbe dynasty rolls on </h2> <p>The Gnassingbe family has been in charge of Togo since over five decades much the same as the Bongo family in Central Africa’s oil producing nation Gabon.</p> <p>Faure’s father Eyadema came to power via a coup in 1967 and governed till his death in 2005 following which Faure was inducted contrary to legal processes of power reverting to the speaker of parliament.</p> <p>Polls were quickly arranged following international pressure securing him his first five-year term under an open-ended presidential system. The 20 vote along with reelections in 2010 and 2015 have been tainted by repression and rigging, according to reports.</p> <h2 style="font-size:16px;"> Process before during and after voting </h2> <p>The voting system is as pertains across much of the West African region particularly with the French system and its peculiarities.</p> <p>The Independent National Electoral Commission, <span class="caps">CENI</span>, is tasked with regulating the process from the campaigning through to voting, tallying and declaring results before presenting it to the Constitutional Court for validation.</p> <p>Incidentally, Togo as part of the reforms of last year adopted the 50%+ rule for a winner to emerge failure for which a runoff between the two top candidates will be held in weeks.</p> <h2 style="font-size:16px;"> Major highlights and pointers include: </h2> <ul> <li>Campaigning starts on Friday, February 6</li> <li>Campaigning ends two days before opening of polls, in this case February 20</li> <li>Ballots will open in the morning and close at sunset after which counting, tallying begins</li> <li><span class="caps">CENI</span> shall announce results</li> <li>Results are transmitted to the Constitutional Court for validation</li> <li>All contestations are to be lodged with the court for redress</li> <li><span class="caps">CENI</span> boss is Chambakou Ayassor</li> </ul> <p><strong><em>Shaban Abdur Rahman Alfa</em></strong><br /> <strong><em>Digital journalist</em></strong><br /> <strong><em>@AlfaAfrican</em></strong><br /> <strong><em>alfa.shaban@africanews.com</em></strong></p>
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