Economic successes give president edge in Togo polls: Aide

23/04/2015
Economic successes give president edge in Togo polls: Aide

Faure Gnassingbe

Economic achievements made since 2010 in Togo will give incumbent President Faure Gnassingbe an advantage in next Saturday's presidential polls, a top aide to Gnassingbe believes.

"The Togolese must renew their confidence in Gnassingbe… due to the Togolese president's economic achievements," Interior Minister Gilbert Bawara, a spokesman for Gnassingbe's electoral campaign, said in an interview with The Anadolu Agency.

"The Togolese can see the economic recovery that Gnassingbe began, along with political and national reconciliation [during his tenure]," he said.

"They know that to build the future, we must base it on the progress and achievements of the past. It is in this sense that the candidate of the ruling Union for the Republic party should be the favorite," he added.

During Gnassingbe's ten-year rule, the Togolese economy has grown steadily at around 5 percent per year from 2010 to 2014. The poverty rate also fell, from 62 percent in 2006 to less than 57 percent in 2014, according to figures from Gnassingbe's campaign.

Gross domestic product per capita (GDP), meanwhile, increased 101 percent between 2005 and 2014, the campaign asserted.

In 2014, the National Fund for Inclusive Finance supported 331,021 households, according to a campaign brochure.

Bawara also highlighted Gnassinge's reconciliation efforts following a spate of post-electoral violence in 2005.

A reconciliation commission was set up in March, with officials taking a nationwide tour to raise awareness about the commission's mandate, the Togolese minister said.

"Togo needs unity, cohesion and social peace. Over the years, Gnassingbe's constant concern was to achieve cohesion and unity," Bawara said.

"This has demonstrated his openness and inclination for dialogue," he added. "Whenever there was trouble, he always interacted and listened to concerned stakeholders."

Five candidates will vie for Togo's presidency, with the frontrunners expected to be Gnassingbe and opposition leader Jean-Pierre Fabre.

The candidate list also includes Aime Gogue of the opposition Alliance of Democrats for Integral Development; Komandega Taama of the opposition New Togolese Commitment Party; and Mohamed Tchassona Traore of the Citizens' Movement for Democracy and Development.

© Turkish Weekly

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