Togo: An Election Tainted By Escalating Violence
The presidential election that took place in Togo on 1 June 2003 resulted, as many independent observers feared, in clashes between opposition supporters and the security forces, who made arrests and used force to suppress demonstrations and discontent in several parts of the country. As with the two preceding presidential elections in 1993 and 1998, Togo faces a major political crisis. The official results have been rejected by several opposition parties, who have accused the government of fraud and called on their supporters to mobilize against those who they consider are only interested in perpetuating their own power indefinitely in the country. In such a situation, everything is possible, including a vicious circle of violent protests by opposition supporters and fierce repression by the security forces.