Africa

Togo President Gnassingbe Secures Fourth Term in Landslide Win

(Bloomberg) — Togo President Faure Gnassingbe secured a fourth five-year term in Togo’s February 22 vote, extending his family’s half-century-long rule in the West African nation.

Gnassingbe secured 72% of the vote, the president of the Independent National Electoral Commission Tchambakou Ayassor told reporters in the capital Lome Monday. Former prime minister and key opposition candidate Agbeyome Kodjo received 18%, Ayassor said. Voter turnout was 76% of the more than 3.6 million registered voters.

Gnassingbe said after casting his ballot Saturday that he was pleased with the turnout and thanked voters for their support.

The 53-year-old Gnassingbe has ruled Togo since the death in 2005 of his father Gnassingbe Eyadema, who seized power in a 1967 coup. His efforts to turn Togo into an economic and logistics hub in the region has paid off. Pan-African lender Ecobank has its headquarters in Lome, which is also the hub for West African carrier Asky Airlines. The economy grew by 4.9% last year, according to the World Bank.

In May, Gnassingbe pushed through constitutional changes allowing him to run again this year, and potentially stay in power until 2030. The constitutional change sets the presidential mandate to two five-year terms, but doesn’t take into account the three terms the president has already served.

The government faced major protests in 2017 and again in 2018 with protesters demanding an end to his family’s rule.

The preliminary result needs to be validated by the Constitutional Court.

To contact the reporters on this story: Kossi Woussou in Accra at kwoussou@bloomberg.net;Katarina Hoije in Abidjan at khoije@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Andre Janse van Vuuren at ajansevanvuu@bloomberg.net, Soraya Permatasari, Chua Baizhen

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

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