Massive poll fraud confirmed in Togo

After the so-called elections in Togo on April 24, the opposition decried the fraud, the stuffed ballot boxes, the disappeared ballot boxes, the stolen computers, the armed raids of opposition offices, and the general intimidation of the electorate. Shortly after the election, the opposition website published a confidential document in which European Commission delegates quote an unnamed RPT source as saying that the actual results of that “election” had probably been closer to 30% Faure Gnassingbe and 70% Bob Akitani. IRIN reports that these document have been verified and that roughly 34% of the voters on the voter rolls were fake:

IRIN obtained confirmation from European diplomatic sources of the authenticity of the documents, …

“Observation by diplomatic missions….on voting day highlighted the lack of reliability of the electoral rolls, an apparently widespread system of fake pro-Gnassingbe votes and numerous cases of the military snatching ballot-boxes ahead of the count,” the document said.

It noted that there were 900,000 phantom voters on Togo’s electoral register nationwide, which increased the roll-call by 34 percent. Half of those fictitious names were found in areas of Togo said to favour Gnassingbe’s ruling Rally for the Togolese People (RPT).

According to the document, the percentage of voter cards handed out in RPT strongholds was between 80 and 95 percent, while only 41 percent were distribute.
TOGO: Diplomatic documents surface citing fraud in April poll, IRIN, 6 May 2005

So why does France support the Gnassingbe regime, and why does the ECOWAS turn a blind eye toward such blatant abuses? I believe it’s because neither has an interest in change and progress in Togo. France, or the Françafricaine, has a well-established, very profitable relationship with the Gnassingbe clan. And ECOWAS is only interested in stability – at any cost.

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