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Togo presidential elections held under acceptable conditions, says ECOWAS observation mission


Togo’s Presidential elections of Saturday 25th April 2015 were held “under acceptable free and transparent conditions,” the ECOWAS Election Observation Mission has declared.In its Preliminary Declaration issued in Lomé on Sunday 26th April, the 100-strong regional observation Mission headed by former President of Liberia’s Interim Government, Prof. Amos Sawyer, welcomed the efforts made by all stakeholders, particularly the Togolese people, Government, political parties and security forces to ensure proper conduct of the elections, in peace and tranquillity.

It “particularly welcomes the sense of responsibility and discipline shown by the voters when expressing their civil rights (and) underlines the active participation of women in the voting process.” The Mission also commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) “for the successful organization of the election.”

The Mission said the election was crucial not only for the consolidation of democratic governance in Togo, but also for reconciliation and national unity and expressed the hope that this would lead to the deepening of political, economic and security reforms needed for the country’s development.

It called on Togolese people, leaders of political parties, and their supporters, to refrain from any acts of violence, intimidation or provocation during “this crucial phase of peace and democracy consolidation in the best interest of the nation.”

In particular, the Mission urges compliance “with law and order at all times, and calls on all the security forces to sustain their joint efforts in strict compliance with the Republican spirit.”

It also called on “all the candidates to resort exclusively to legal channels to resolve any electoral dispute that may arise.”

The Mission, which was deployed throughout Togo’s five regions and supported by a technical team of 12 experts on elections and security, carried out its task in conjunction with observers deployed by other institutions, including the African Union (AU), the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA), the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF), the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD) and the Gorée Institute, as well as the European Union and the United Nations.

Representatives of these institutions and members of the diplomatic corps accredited to Togo attended the ceremony for the presentation of the Preliminary statement chaired by Prof. Sawyer, assisted by the President of the ECOWAS Commission H.E. Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Mrs. Salamatu Hussaini Suleiman, and the ECOWAS Director of Political Affairs, Dr. Remi Ajibewa.

The ECOWAS poll observation mission welcomed the role played by the different international election observation missions, as well as the coordination and cooperation that marked their relations with Togo political actors throughout the process.

It also “pays tribute to the other development partners who have contributed to the successful holding of the election through their technical and financial support.”

The mission commended the Togolese authorities and various structures involved in the organization of the elections for the logistics and security measures put in place to facilitate the deployment of the poll observers, which enabled them to fulfil their mission efficiently.

The Mission comprises delegations from the ECOWAS Council of the Wise, ambassadors of Member States accredited to the Commission, experts from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Electoral Management Bodies of Member States, as well as representatives of civil society and media organisations.

The Mission is deployed by the President of the ECOWAS Commission in line with the provisions of the 2001 ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance and as part of electoral assistance programme for Member States holding elections.

After Nigeria’s recent successful and historical elections, which were generally adjudged to be transparent, fair and credible, Togo is the second ECOWAS Member State to conduct elections this year, to be followed by Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso.
Directorate of Communication

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