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Vote counting in Togo

Voters gather for the closely watched presidential poll in Lomé on 4 March 2010
(Etonam Ahianyo/IRIN)

Vote counting is underway in Togo, a day after presidential polls closed, with electoral authorities saying they are concerned not to repeat the mistakes of the violence-marred 2005 ballot.

The head of the independent electoral commission, Tafa Tabiou, told IRIN that the results would not be announced progressively by voting districts, as in previous elections. "We are still learning our lessons about democracy, and we fear that partial results that would be a bit different from the final ones would only incite unrest."

Counting is taking place publicly so voters can see which ballots are rejected. The president of the truth and reconciliation commission - created to address past human rights abuses - said the largely peaceful election was a "significant" step on the country's road to reconciliation.

Togo's 2005 presidential election was condemned by much of the international community, and hundreds died in the ensuing opposition protest. Casting his ballot on 4 March, voter Ayaba Esiomlé commented, "It is not easy to pardon [past crimes] ... but if these elections are transparent, that will show us that reconciliation is possible, and we would be more likely to forget more quickly the past."


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This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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