Togo sets stage for elections in 2024 amidst opposition challenges

Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe shakes hand with people queuing to vote after casting his vote at a polling station in Kara, on February 22, 2020

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The Togolese government, led by President Faure Gnassingbé, announced on Monday its plans to hold legislative and regional elections no later than the end of the first quarter of 2024.

This decision comes after the President’s commitment, outlined in his New Year’s address for 2022, that elections would take place in December 2023.

Yawa Kouigan, Minister of Communication and government spokesperson, emphasized the President’s directive, stating, “The President of the Republic has instructed the government to take all necessary measures to organize the upcoming elections.” This declaration sets the stage for a crucial political event in a nation that last witnessed legislative and regional elections in 2018, marked by opposition boycotts citing electoral irregularities.

The opposition, which has been critical of the ruling Union for the Republic party, has already mobilized its supporters during the recent electoral census. The census, conducted from April 29 to June 14, drew significant public participation, particularly at voter card distribution centers.

Despite opposition claims contesting the electoral register’s integrity, the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) validated the final electoral register in mid-November. With over 4.2 million registered voters, the OIF deemed it “sufficiently reliable to allow for the holding of the upcoming regional and legislative elections under conditions of trust.”

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