Togo court declares president re-elected from final results

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LOME, Togo (AP) — Togo's constitutional court declared Faure Gnassingbe president for a third five-year term after tallying final votes on Sunday.

Aboudou Assouma, head of the Constitutional Court, said on state television that the final results show that Gnassingbe received a majority of the votes with about 59 percent. His main opposition challenger Jean-Pierre Fabre received about 35 percent of the votes.

"Having obtained a majority of the votes, Faure Gnassingbe must be declared president," he said.

The win extends the Gnassingbe family's rule of Togo to nearly half a century. Gnassingbe has been in power since 2005 when he succeeded his father, who died after 38 years in office. Later that year he won elections that were marred by serious allegations of fraud. At some polling stations that year, soldiers burst in and made off with ballot boxes. Gnassingbe then won re-election in 2010.

The opposition did not immediately react to the final results Sunday. Fabre earlier this week rejected provisional results and called for people to mobilize by all legal means.

A national grouping of civil society organizations gave the voting process fairly high marks. An observer mission of the West African regional bloc ECOWAS said it turned up "no major incident that may taint the credibility of the voting process."

Gnassingbe will be sworn in as president on Monday, said Assouma.

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