Seven candidates are vying for the top job in the small west African country of Togo in elections on Thursday. Among the candidates is the incumbent Faure Gnassingbe, 43, son of the late ruler Gnassingbe Eyadema, who held power for 38 years .
One of the strongest contenders is Jean-Pierre Fabre, 58, candidate of the main opposition party, the Union of Forces for Change (UFC) led by Gilchrist Olympio, son of the country's first post independent president.
An economist by training, Fabre is in the presidential race for the first time.
Former prime minister Yawovi Agboyibo, candidate of the Action Committee for Renewal (CAR), and another leading opponent to Gnassingbe, is trying for "third time lucky" after he lost twice already in 1998 and 2003.
A lawyer by training, Agboyibo, 67, is one of the most prominent figures of the Togolese opposition, who began his political career after political unrest that rocked the country in 1990.
Another former prime minister, Agbeyome Kodjo, of the Organisation for the Building of a United Togo (OBUTS), defected from Faure's Togolese People's Rally (RPT) to set up his own party in 2005. Holder of a doctorate in management sciences, Kodjo, 56, was also speaker of the national assembly in 1999 to 2000 after holding several ministerial portfolios in Eyadema's government.
This is the first time he is taking part in a presidential election.
Brigitte Kafui Adjamagbo-Johnson, a member of the Democratic Convention of African Peoples (CDPA opposition) is the only woman in the race and the first to seek the highest office in Togo.
Born in December 1958, Adjamagbo Johnson holds a doctorate in law.
The others are 57-year-old businessman Nicolas Lawson of the Party for Renewal and Redemption (PRR) and Bassabi Kagbara, 68, a former school teacher trying his presidential luck for the first time as candidate of the Panafrican Democratic Party.