afrol News, 18 March - Togo's Constitutional Court on today has confirmed the disputed re-election of incumbent President Faure Gnassingbé with 60.88 percent of the vote cast. The Togolese opposition alleges widespread fraud.
The court made the confirmation after Togo's Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) had published provisional results showing that the 43-year-old incumbent won 60.92 percent of the tally in the 4 March presidential election. The court therefore only made small corrections to CENI's original results.
Five out of seven presidential candidates had protested CENI's official results, appealing to the court. This includes the winner, Mr Gnassingbé, whose complaints over the results from some polling stations was rejected by the court.
Most importantly, the Constitutional Court rejected complaints from two contesters calling for the outright invalidation of the ballot due to "widespread irregularities." The court did not agree the documented irregularities were of a nature that would influence overall results.
Court President Aboudou Assouma concluded that President Gnassingbé, beyond reasonable doubt, had "received the greatest number of votes." The incumbent's re-election was indisputable, he held, and the victory proclamation was "definitive".
The court nevertheless made some minor adjustments to CENI's election results. According to the Constitutional Court, Jean-Pierre Fabre, the 58-year-old candidate of the leading opposition United Force
s for Change (UFC), obtained 33.93 percent, instead of the 33.94 percent earlier unveiled by CENI.
A total of seven candidates ran in the presidential race. The other opposition candidates included Yawovi Agboyibo (2.95% of the vote) of the Action Committee for Renewal, Agbeyome Kodjo (0.85%) of the Organisation to Build Togo in Unity and Solidarity, Brigitte Kafui Adjamagbo-Johnson (0.65%) of the Democratic Convention for African People, Lawson Nicolas (0.29%) of the Party for Renewal and Redemption and Kagbara Bassabi (0.40%) of the PanAfrican Democratic Party.
An estimated 2 million eligible voters out of the country's 6.15 million population cast their ballots in the election, which ended in relative calm. Armed security forces managed to stop opposition protests, using teargas against UFC protesters.
The last mass protest was organised by the UFC on Saturday, with thousands of opposition followers taking to the street in Lomé protesting the "fraudulent victory" of Mr Gnassingbé.
And the protests are not over yet. The UFC together with three other major opposition parties have urged followers to join in a new protest march in Lomé on Saturday (20 March). "The elected President, Jean-Pierre Fabre, is calling for resistance," the appeal said.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.