Resolution adopted at the EGP Council, Riga, 6-8 May 2005. (.pdf)
After the death of Eyadema Gnassingbé, Togo lived a constitutional “coup d’état”. The military set his son as president, thus ignoring the Constitution that calls for the President of the national assembly to ensure an interim and organizing elections within 60 days.
International pressure, particularly ECOWAS (The Economic Community Of West African States) forced Faure Gnassingbé to resign and elections were organised, controlled by ECOWAS who should have guaranteed freedom and transparency of the elections. The EU let the ECOWAS handle the elections, saying that African States should be responsible of their own process of defending order and democracy.
The elections took place on April 24th. The opposition called for postponing the elections, because of frauds in the names on the voting lists and in the distribution of elector cards. ECOWAS seemed incapable of guaranteeing the correct process but authorities and the ECOWAS argued that the process was going normally.
Pre-electoral frauds denounced are:
- partisan distribution of elector cards
- irregularities in registrations on the elector list
- filling of ballot boxes before elections
- violence and intimidations towards activists.
It is interesting to note that there were 3 500 000 names on the list of voters, and that Togo has approximately 5 000 000 inhabitants.
The Minister of the Interior said that it was impossible to have free and transparent elections in Togo and that elections should be postponed to avoid risk of civil war. He is now a refugee in the German Embassy and the civil war that he and the other diplomatic delegations had feared is going on.
The declared winner of the election is Faure Gnassingbé. Bob Akitani, opposing candidate, says he won and considers himself President. There have already been at least 50 deaths in Lomé, thousands have fled to Benin or Ghana, many have been injured.
The Constitutional court decided on the 5th of May to validate the elections. Considering that it is this same court who recognized the anticonstitutional decision of naming Faure Gnassingbé as President after the death of his father, its decision can be questioned.
Only the USA, Germany and Canada have emitted doubts on the results of these elections. The EU (following the French standpoint) supports ECOWAS who says the election process was “globally satisfying and valid”.
This is a concern for all Western Africa, because of upcoming elections in several countries.
The EGP thus
- regrets the attitude of the French government and the European Union
- asks all Green parties to call on their own governments and bring Togo to their attention in order to stop the blackout on the situation in Togo.