Ghana's former President, Jerry John Rawlings, has calle d for free, fair and peaceful elections in Togo, saying the international commun i ty and the civil society organisations should support the West African state to a chieve that feat. Rawlings, however, said he had confidence in the ability of President Faure Gnas singbe to organise credible elections because of the assurances he had received from him everytime they met.
A statement issued from the office of the former president on Monday said Rawlin gs spoke at a two-hour meeting with a women's delegation from Togo, led by a member of Parliament, Ms. Isabelle Ameganvi. Rawlings called on all stakeholders in the forthcoming elections to ensure that the polls were conducted in an atmosphere of peace and respect for the rule of law.
The statement said the ex-president also appealed to all involved to ensure the establishment of bodies with integrity to oversee the electoral process in which all Togolese must respect the ultimate outcome.
In spite of the challenges confronting him (Gnassingbe), there exists a wonde rful opportunity for him to live above board to win the confidence of the intern ational community and the good people of Togo by doing away with acts that could undermine the integrity of the electoral process", Rawlings said.
Ameganvi briefed the former president on the situation in Togo and called on him to help support the smooth organisation of the election by using his influence a s a respected statesman in the region to promote peace and security through the e stablishment of a Togo-Ghana joint commission to monitor and manage the security situation in the run-up to the election.
She said previous elections had been characterised by violence and an atmosphere of fear and intimidation and it was imperative that the forthcoming election wa s incident free so that voters would not be scared away from the polling stations .