Saturday, February 19, 2005

Gnassingbé II announces elections; world underwhelmed

Faure Gnassingbé, head of the Togolese Kingdom... er, "Republic," has agreed to elections within 60 days, despite prior expectations that he would serve out the remained of his late father's term. He said he would remain interim president until the elections. His father, Gnassingbé Eyadema, organized three elections since the introduction of alleged multipartyism in Togo in the early 90s, however international observers would not sign off on the elections he won in 1993, 1998 and 2003 as being free and fair, so Gnassingbé II remaining de facto head of state until elections is sure to displease the Togolese opposition.

Interestingly, in a speech to the nation announcing the elections, Gnassingbé II never said one way or the other if he intended to be a candidate in those elections. One certainly has to wonder if members of the late Eyadema's clan will try to "legitimize" this election by running another member of the military establishment in elections to run and rigged by another of the military's hand picked men.

Update: The African Union has denounced the offer as inadequate and imposed sanctions anyway.

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