Electoral campaign begins
The electoral campaign for Togo's legislative elections, scheduled for 14 Oct., began Saturday across the country. On Saturday morning, supporters of the various candidates, wearing T-shirts emblazoned with the logos of their parties, flooded the main streets of the various cities.
Members of the Union of the Forces for Change (UFC), which is participating in legislative elections for the first time ever, invaded the Bè neighbourhood, where their party is based, as well as the main streets of the capital and other areas.In their yellow dresses, they moved around on foot and on motorbikes, singing and dancing behind their president, opposition leader Gilchrist Olympio, who had arrived in the Togolese capital before 10am local time from neighbouring Ghana, to support the candidates of his party.
Also, supporters of the ruling party, the Assembly of the Togolese People (RPT), have been going up and down the streets of Tokoin Adéwui, one of their strongholds, as well as other streets in the city, wearing white T-shirts with the symbol of their party.
Supporters of the Action Committee for Renewal (CAR) of Prime Minister Yawovi Madji Agboyibo, in their red-coloured T-Shirts, could also be identified among the jubilant crowd.
But the members of the Democratic Convention of the African Peoples (CDPA) of Léopold Messan Gnininvi and the Pan-African Patriotic Convergence (CPP) of Edem Kodjo have not been very active so far.
The security forces have been deployed in the capital and elsewhere across the country to provide security and ensure the crowd is orderly.
In the hinterland, in the central region, the campaign began earlier than expected, despite the warnings of the National Electoral Commission (CENI).
On Friday, the ruling party and some supporters of the CAR in these areas have already organised meetings in several localities, especially in Sotobou (300km north of Lomé) and in the surrounding areas.
The elections will help Togo to renew 81 seats in the National Assembly, which is totally controlled by the ruling party and its coalition partners.