Socialist Worker

Revolt in Togo after dictator’s son claims election win

by Togolese socialists
Issue No. 1950

The presidential election in Togo, west Africa, has unleashed protests, strikes and riots. At least 20 people have been killed in the fighting.

Opposition supporters exploded on to the streets last week after the authorities announced that Faure Gnassingbe, the son of the former dictator, had won with 60 percent of the vote.

Opposition candidate Emmanuel Bob Akitani, offcially credited with 38 percent of the vote, said that gross fraud had taken place. He declared himself the genuine president and called on his supporters to “fight on to victory”.

Nigeria, the regional power, has called for a “government of national unity”. The US and France have also taken this line, although the French Socialist Party has leaned closer to supporting Akitani.

The ordinary people of Togo, must not rely on any liberators but themselves. Imperialism has played a murderous role in this region for over 100 years.

Let us hope that the protests continue and can be deepened to take up the very real issues of poverty and civil rights, as well as the central question of true democracy.

We must indeed continue the struggle to victory, which means something different to those of us from the masses than it does to the rich.

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Thu 5 May 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1950
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