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Togo: Annan Hails Peaceful Presidential Election

Togo: Annan Hails Peaceful Presidential Election, Urges Continued Calm

New York, Apr 24 2005

Welcoming the peaceful presidential election in Togo today, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said a successful conclusion of the polling process would auger well for the country's future stability and prosperity.

"Given the deep emotions felt by the different candidates and their supporters during the difficult electoral campaign, the Secretary-General commends the sense of political and civic responsibility demonstrated by the leaders and the population," a spokesman for Mr. Annan said in a statement released in New York.

Pending the official results, the Secretary-General appealed for calm and urged the parties to refer any electoral disputes to the appropriate authorities in accord with the Electoral Code.

"The Secretary-General considers that the successful and peaceful conclusion of the election would provide the people of Togo and their international partners with a sound platform on which to build a stable transition towards sustainable national reconciliation, political stability and economic recovery," the spokesman said.

The statement also reiterated the UN's support for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which played an important facilitation role in helping Togo organize a peaceful and credible poll.

The lead-up to today's election had been marred by violence as well as reports of press restrictions and irregularities in the organization of the polling.

The recent turmoil in Togo began in February when long-serving President Gnassingbe Eyadema died and his son, Faure Gnassingbe, was appointed Head of State despite a constitutional requirement that the country be led by the president of the National Assembly until fresh elections could be held. Mr. Gnassingbe was the ruling party's candidate in today's polling.

ENDS


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