Togo presidential elections postponed


Togo’s presidential election set for February 28 has been delayed until March 4 following an opposition request, a presidential decree read out on state television announced.

Faure Gnassingbe who is the president is running for another term in office. The delay comes in response to a request from the opposition during talks in Burkina Faso with President Blaise Compaore who is mediating inter-Togolese dialogue.

Campaigning, which had been due to start on February 13, will now start on February 16.

Gnassingbe has been in power since 2005 and is backed by the ruling Togolese People’s Rally (RPT). He is the son of Gnassingbe Eyadema, who died in February 2005 after 38 years in power.

On the opposition side, Brigitte Kafui Adjamagbo-Johnson for Democratic Convention of African People is the first woman to run for the presidency in the small West African country.

A court has proclaimed candidate Kofi Yamgnane, a former French government minister who holds dual nationality, invalid because his French and Togo documents have contradicting dates of birth.

Political observers said the election will be a test of Togo’s democracy after an uneventful parliamentary elections in October 2007.

President Faure Gnassingbe of Togo