Longtime leader Gnassingbé seeks fourth term in Togo’s election

Voters in Togo will head to the polls this weekend to choose between keeping a 50-year dynasty or a new leader.

Long-standing President Faure Gnassingbé is widely expected to win Saturday’s election, extending his family’s 5 decades-long rule.

A series of major protests swept the country in 2017 and 2018 demanding that Gnassingbe leaves power. However, demonstrations were choked by a fierce government crackdown.

The Togolese national election commission has revoked a main independent observer group’s accreditation to monitor the presidential election, just days before the vote takes place.

Togo is the 10th poorest country in the world, according to the International Monetary Fund, and the country received €330 million in European Union aid between 2014 and 2020. The EU froze aid from 1993 to 2007, citing the country’s poor democratic record.

According to the World Food Program, about half of the population is affected by food insecurity, while almost 70 percent of rural households live below the poverty line.

Meanwhile, Gnasssingbe has promised to create 500,000 jobs across the country by 2022 to ease the frustrations of the large number of unemployed youths in the country.

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