In Togo, Voters Head to the Polls

Voters in Togo are going to the polls Saturday to cast their ballots in a presidential election.

Political observers say incumbent president Faure Gnassingbe will likely be the winner. His family has ruled the West African nation for more than 50 years.

Gnassingbe took over Togo’s top position in 2005, following the death of his father, Eyadema, who had ruled for nearly 40 years.

Gnassingbe was instrumental in enacting constitutional changes last year that would limit presidents in the deeply impoverished country to two five-year terms.

The constitutional changes are not, however, retroactive and Gnassingbe could be in office until 2030.

In the lead up to the vote, the president promised to improve the country’s health, education and agricultural sectors.

Jean-Pierre Fabre, opposition presidential candidate of the National Alliance for Change, casts his vote during the presidential election in Lome, Togo, Feb. 22 2020.

Six challengers are facing off against Gnassingbe, including Jean-Pierre Fabre who came in second in elections in 2010 and 2015.

The opposition has not backed any of the candidates, in an attempt to force a second round of voting.

Togo faced major protests from the opposition in 2017 and 2018 that were effectively squashed by the government.

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