Togo lesislative polls: ECOWAS team commends voters for peaceful conduct

Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - The Head of the ECOWAS Election Observation Mission, Ambassador Leopold Ouédraogo, has commended the Togolese people for their high sense of civic duty and patriotism, with early reports indicating a generally peaceful atmosphere as the country’s three million plus registered voters went to the polls on Thursday, 25  July, 2013, to elect members of the 91-seat National Assembly.

Pre-election political tension had raised apprehension in some quarters, but after observing voting in polling centres in the Maritime region with his team, part of the 80-strong ECOWAS observers in the country, Ambassador Ouédraogo commended the orderliness and calm exhibited by the population and the professionalism of the electoral officials.

An ECOWAS Commission press statement, received here by PANA, said that the Head of mission, accompanied by the Vice President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr. Toga McIntosh, visited more than six polling centres in Sanguera, Akpete and Noepe, west of Lome near the country’s border with Ghana and in the Aneho district in the east, close to the Togo-Benin frontier.

“It is still early, but the peaceful atmosphere we have observed is promising and we would like to encourage the Togolese to work hard to see the electoral process to a successful conclusion,” the statement quoted Ambassador Ouédraogo as saying.

It said Ouédraogo also urged any party which might have any issues with the result of the elections to follow the legal process in seeking redress.

ECOWAS Commission Vice President McIntosh expressed a similar sentiment on the orderliness of the process, noting that at one of the centres, a woman party agent, in carrying out her duty, brought along her baby of a few months’ old, a demonstration of her commitment and belief in the electoral system.

As is normal with contemporary politics, he said, it was observed that the country’s major political parties (both the ruling and opposition parties) had their agents in most of the centres visited.

According to electoral officials, final results of the parliamentary elections could take up to three days before being released.

The polls, featuring more than 1,100 ruling party and opposition coalition candidates and 14 independents, are a precursor to Togo’s crucial presidential polls in 2015.
-0- PANA PR/VAO 25July2013

25 july 2013 19:41:41

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