UN chief calls for peaceful polls in Togo

2 March 2010 – This week’s presidential election is a “crucial opportunity” for Togo to continue efforts to consolidate democracy, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today, appealing for the poll to be unscarred by violence.

The 4 March election also provides an occasion to “foster national cohesion, stability and sustainable development,” according to a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson.

“The Secretary-General calls on all political leaders and institutions to ensure that the election is credible and peaceful and reflects on the will of the people of Togo,” urging all segments of society to refrain from moves that could exacerbate tensions before, during or after the poll.

He also reiterated the support of the UN for the electoral process in the West African nation.

Hundreds of people died and thousands more were injured in violence which erupted after the sudden death of long-time President Gnassingbé Eyadéma and disputed elections in 2005, while tens of thousands of people escaped to neighbouring Ghana and Benin.


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