ECOWAS, UN want crédible election in Togo

07/01/2010
 ECOWAS, UN want crédible election in Togo

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the United Nations have reiterated their commitment to work with Togo to ensure a credible, transparent and fair election on Feb. 28, according to state television.
A joint delegation of both organizations paid a courtesy call to Togolese Prime Minister Gilbert Houngbo on Tuesday, discussing issues concerning the electoral process underway and their involvement in the process.
The discussions touched upon "the nature of involvement of ECOWAS and the United Nations so that there can be a credible, transparent and fair elections," said ECOWAS Commission Ibn Chambas, who was also the head of the joint deegation.
Chambas said the meeting was aimed at reinforcing the commitment of ECOWAS and the UN to continue working with Togo for the success of the polls.
"Some progress has been made. But there are still challenges to overcome," noted Said Djinnit, the special representative of the UN secretary general in West Africa, who also reiterated that the objective of the visit was "not to pass a judgement but to encourage."
"There is a highly anticipated election in Togo which is going to give the country an opportunity to consolidate the democratic gains she has made and be able to revive her economy," he added.
The electoral process which marks the end of the first term of the current Togolese head of state, Faure Gnassingbe, is going ahead with the review of the electoral lists.
At this stage, the two main opposition political parties, the United Forces for Change and the Action Committee for Renewal, have already pointed out some irregularities in the exercise.
They have also engaged in failed talks on a return to a two- round mode of election for the forthcoming elections.
ECOWAS recently mediated in the election mode dispute between the ruling and opposition parties, proposing the opposition accept the one-round vote upheld by the government.

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