Campaigns end as Togo president seeks fourth term

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By BBC Africa

Candidates have ended their campaigns ahead of the first round of Togo's presidential elections on Saturday.

In his final public address in his hometown Kara, north of the capital Lomé, President Faure Gnassingbé told supporters that the future of the country was now in their hands and urged them to turn out to vote.

President Gnassingbé took over from his late father and is seeking to extend his family's half-century domination of the West African nation.

After weathering protests in 2017 and 2018, he pushed through constitutional changes last year, despite demonstrations by opposition supporters, enabling him to run again. In-fighting among the opposition saw the demonstrations fizzle out.

President Gnassingbé is vying on a Union for the Republic (UNIR) party ticket and will be challenged by Jean-Pierre Fabre of the National Alliance for Change (ANC) party.

Mr Fabre came second in the last two elections and has been unable to unite the opposition.

Former Prime Minister Agbéyomé Kodjo, who served under Mr Gnassingbé's father, is also vying on a Patriotic Movement for Democracy and Development (MPDD) ticket.

Mr Kodjo's latest presidential bid has been endorsed by Archbishop Philippe Fanoko Kpodzro, the Archbishop Emeritus of Lome and dean of the bishops of Togo.


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