Togo President Faure Gnassingbe won re-election with 71% of the vote, final results from the constitutional court showed, extending his 15 year rule and a family dynasty that began when his father took power in a 1967 coup.
Despite widespread disaffection and protests calling for him to step down, a fractured opposition struggled to launch a concerted campaign to unseat Gnassingbe in the small West African country of eight million.
His closest rival, former Prime Minister Gabriel Messan Agbeyome Kodjo, won 19% of the vote in the contest last month and long-time opposition leader Jean-Pierre Fabre got five percent the results showed.
“This proclamation is final and closes the debate on the presidential election of February 22,” the head of the court, Aboudou Assouma, said at a press conference.
There was no immediate reaction from the opposition. Kodjo previously said his camp’s tallies showed him winning the election with around 60% of the vote.
The result gives Gnassingbe five more years in power, a blow for opposition protesters who took to the streets in recent years, calling for him to step down.
In response to political pressure, Gnassingbe last year enacted a law limiting presidents to two five-year terms. It is not backdated to account for the three terms he served, so he could stay in power until 2030.