No contest for Togo's general
Thursday 26 August 1993
German and United States observers, led by the former president Jimmy Carter, quit the tiny West African country of 3.6 million people after declaring there was no point in monitoring an election that only one serious candidate was contesting. Monitors from France and Burkina Faso decided to stay on.
The Foreign Minister, Ouattara Fambare Natchaba, said yesterday that security forces had arrested two of four plotters who he said infiltrated from Ghana overnight and were planning a coup. In a statement, Mr Natchaba said papers found on one of the men detailed plans for attacks on various sites to overthrow General Eyadema and proclaim a new regime.
As the polls opened early yesterday in Lome, the capital, many voters appeared to heed a call by the main opposition alliance, the Collective of Democratic Opposition (COD 2), to boycott the election.
Gen Eyadema, 56, overthrew the elected president, Sylvanus Olympio, in January 1963, in independent sub-Saharan Africa's first coup, and handed over to a civilian government that he ousted four years later. His rule went largely unchallenged until a pro-democracy movement began stirring in the late 1980s.
Three years ago, he was forced to agree to multi-party reforms, but almost immediately he and his army resisted the transition to democracy at each step. In extraordinary displays of courage, unarmed crowds demonstrating in favour of democracy forced the army back into its barracks.
Since then, however, President Eyadema has used threat and manipulation to remain in power. Sylvanus Olympio's son, Gilchrist, emerged as a leading opponent until he was badly wounded in an assassination attempt by troops loyal to Gen Eyadema, according to an international inquiry. The Supreme Court barred Gilchrist from standing in yesterday's election because his medical papers were not in order.
The General's main challenger, the COD 2 candidate, Edem Kodjo, a former secretary-general of the Organisation of African Unity, pulled out of the polls on Monday amid opposition charges that voters' registry was padded by at least 600,000 people, some children and some long dead. Yaovi Abgoyibo, of the Action Committee for Renewal, also withdrew.
Apple has been hit by complaints about the 1.1GB download
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage
Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour
Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist
Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason
Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama
- 2 Scottish independence: Five reasons Salmond is secretly hoping for a 'No' vote
- 3 Isis plan to 'behead random member of the public' in Sydney thwarted by Australian police
- 4 Scottish independence: Andy Murray backs Yes campaign in eleventh hour decision
- 5 Have you heard about the film Singapore has banned its people from watching? Well, you have now
Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
Scottish independence referendum live: Latest news as Scotland decides Yes or No
Scottish independence: Final opinion polls show undecided voters could swing result either way
Scottish independence: Almost half of No voters have felt 'personally threatened' by the Yes campaign
Isis plan to 'behead random member of the public' in Sydney thwarted by Australian police
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
£24000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...
£45000 - £55000 Per Annum 31 days holiday, pension, healthcare, annual bonus: ...
£110 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Preston: We are looking for an experie...
£100 - £222 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: We are currently recruiting f...