Togo is one of those West African countries that nearly democratized at the beginning of the 1990s. The ruling power was under threat, there was a national conference, but after some concessions it managed to cling on, rather like the situation in Burkina Faso and Cameroon. Since that time, the opposition has been allowed some room to operate. There are dissenting voices in the press, but through coercion, co-optation and some support, the ruling Gnassingbé regime has maintained its hold.
The legislative election was held on Sunday. Unsurprisingly, Gnassingbé’s ruling UNIR (ex-RPT) party has been returned with a large majority. Here are the results.
- UNIR : 62 seats
- Collectif Sauvons le Togo (CST) : 19 seats
- Alliance Arc-en-ciel : 6 seats
- Union des Forces du Changement (UFC) : 3 seats
- Candidats indépendants « Sursaut national » : 1 seat
I am not sure of the source, but Election Guide is also publishing percentages of the vote. They show 41.3% for the UNIR and 34.5% for the CST. The Electoral Commission has reported results for the different constituencies, so perhaps they have been totalled from there. However, if the overall percentages are correct, they show a big discrepancy in the seat/vote share.
The big change is in the opposition. The historic UFC opposition has done badly partly because of a more cooperative attitude towards the regime over the last few years and the internal divisions that this provoked. The new opposition is the CST. The question is whether the UNIR can co-opt the other parties in the legislature against the CST so as to assure a big enough majority to allow it to change the constitution and completely control the system.