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Togo's ruling, opposition parties claim victory in vote

Togo's ruling and opposition parties both claimed victory in a presidential vote amid fears of renewed violence in the tiny west African nation trying to turn the page on electoral bloodshed.

world Updated: Mar 06, 2010 09:23 IST

Togo's ruling and opposition parties both claimed victory in a presidential vote amid fears of renewed violence in the tiny west African nation trying to turn the page on electoral bloodshed.

"All the results we have confirm that President Faure (Gnassingbe) has resoundingly, I mean resoundingly, won this election," government spokesman Pascal Bodjona told Radio France Internationale, as votes were being counted following Thursday's poll.

Earlier, opposition leader Jean-Pierre Fabre of the Union of Forces for Change (UFC) claimed he had won the election.

"Results compiled at the voting centres in our possession give a comfortable lead to the candidate of the UFC," said Fabre, the candidate for the Union of Forces for Change, told a news conference, estimating he had won "an average of between 75 and 80 per cent of votes."

Togo's independent electoral commission (CENI) said it would publish official results today.

The election is widely seen as a test of whether democracy will find a foothold in this dirt-poor country of 6.5 million ruled for nearly 40 years by strongman Gnassingbe Eyadema and then, after his death, by his son.

Fabre has alleged "irregularities" in voting procedure, especially in "stuffing of ballot boxes", a claim rejected by the ruling party, which accused the opposition of trying to stoke violence.