By John Ikani
Togo is set to conduct its legislative and regional elections “no later than the end of the first quarter of 2024,” according to the government’s announcement on Monday.
This timeline deviates from President Faure Gnassingbe’s commitment last December to hold the polls within a year.
In 2018, the opposition boycotted the previous legislative and regional elections, citing “irregularities” in the census.
This time around, the opposition is gearing up to challenge the ruling Union for the Republic (UNIR) party and is actively encouraging voter registration.
Despite the validation of an electoral register by an international organization, the Togolese opposition remains skeptical, expressing concerns about potential fraud in the upcoming poll.
Eric Dupuy, spokesperson for the opposition National Alliance for Change (ANC), asserted, “This is another trick to reinforce electoral fraud with certification by the OIF.”
The current head of state, Faure Gnassingbe, has been in power since 2005, succeeding his father, General Eyadema Gnassingbe, who ruled for 38 years until his passing.
Throughout his tenure, President Gnassingbe has consistently emerged victorious in elections, although the opposition has persistently contested these results.