Togo's main opposition party, the Union of Forces for Change (UFC), has decided to take its seats in Parliament, which opens its first session on Wednesday in Lomé, the party said in a statement issued on Tuesday. The party, which won 27 seats in the 14 October parliamentary polls, had threatened to boycott the Parliament in protest at the conduct of the vote won by the ruling Togolese People's Rally (RPT).
In the statement, the UFC led by Gilchrist Olympio, said it would sit in the Parliament "out of respect for its mandate"."The UFC action will target populations' welfare, security, improvement of the electoral framework as well as poll transparency and equity," the statement added.
The party said it would also pursue the constitutional and institutional reforms necessary to set up democracy, rule of law and good governance in pursuance of the Comprehensive Political Accord signed on 20 August 2006 by the leaders of the Togolese political parties.
The UFC also called on all the political parties in parliament to "show a responsible spirit in carrying out the constitutional missions of power of the legislature".
Three parties are sharing the 81 seats in parliament - RPT has 50 seats, UFC has 27 and the Action Committee for Renewal (CAR) has four.