Counting underway in Togo’s pivotal parliamentary election - Onlinetimesgh

Counting underway in Togo’s pivotal parliamentary election

Togo’s crucial legislative and regional elections were held peacefully on Monday (Apr. 29).

Some 4.2 million registered voters were expected to cast a ballot. The electoral commission has pledged to unveil trends of preliminary results as they come.

Voters were electing candidates for 113 parliamentary seats — 22 more than the previous assembly —  and for the first time filling 179 senatorial positions.

The polls, come after a controversial constitutional reform aiming to scrap presidential elections and give lawmakers the power to choose the country’s leader, was passed.

In Lomé, an opposition stronghold, Kpedji is one of many Togolese young people who are hoping for change. “I hope there is a crucial change. Seeing what the parliament just did, they changed the constitution, we need to be here to vote.”

Jean-Pierre Kabré is an opposition leader and parliamentary candidate with Togo’s Alliance for Change party.

From his polling station in Lome, he said “you know the atmosphere in which these elections are happening, a tense atmosphere, because of the changes to the constitution in the middle of the electoral process. We have not finished denouncing this forfeiture.”

More than 14,200 polling stations operated nationwide from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m UTC.

Togo’s authorities sealed the borders on Monday for security reasons and dispatched some 12,000 gendarmes and police officers to safeguard the voting process.

Observer missions from the African Union among other organizations have been authorized to monitor the vote. Volunteers observers with the Catholic Church in Togo however were not allowed to monitor the election.


Source:African News

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