ELECTIONS HELD IN 1994
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|6 February 1994
20 February 1994
|Elections were held for all the seats in the new National Assembly provided for in the Constitution adopted by referendum in September 1992, to replace the interim legislature, the High Council of the Republic.|
|The legislative elections were intended initially to mark the end of the one-year transitional period instituted at the end of the National Conference, in August 1991. However, for a number of reasons, including the climate of tension prevalent in the county as well as disagreement among the country’s main political actors, polling was not held within the one-year time-limit and was postponed on several occasions.
Altogether 352 candidates contested the elections, most of them fielded by some 20 political parties or groups of parties. One major opposition party, the Union of the Forces of Change (UFC) of Mr. Gilchrist Olympio, son of the late President of the Republic Sylvanus Olympio, called for a boycott of the polls.
The elections were supervised by an international committee set up, under the Ouagadougou accords between the Government and the opposition, to oversee smooth transition to democracy. Present to monitor the elections were 123 French and Burkina Faso military observers as well as some 60 foreign civilian observers from Europe, Africa and the United States.
The first round of voting took place in a calm atmosphere with no major incidents reported. Voter turnout was high (65.12% as against the 39% for the August 1993 presidential poll). The international observers were unanimous in stating that polling as well as vote tallying had taken place under satisfactory conditions.
The results of the first round showed that supporters of President of the Republic Gnassingbe Eyadema and those of the main opposition parties were running neck and neck. The President’s party, the Togolese People’s Rally (RPT), won 33 seats, while a party allied with it, the Union for Justice and Democracy (UJD), took two seats. The two main opposition parties, the Action Committee for Renewal (CAR) of Mr. Yawovi Agboyibo, and the Togolese Union for Democracy (UTD) of the former Foreign Minister and Secretary General of the Organisation of African Unity, Mr. Edem Kodjo, shared 22 seats (19 and 3, respectively). Incumbent Prime Minister Joseph Koffigoh failed to win a s seat and was forced into a run-off in his home constituency.
Campaigning for the 24 remaining seats at stake in the second round was marred by violence, mainly in Lomé, the capital, and in the north of the country. The opposition denounced what they termed the campaign of intimidation and fear waged by the military and supporters of President Eyadema. CAR and UTD came together in an electoral coalition to contest the remaining seats. Polling took place with bands roaming the streets of Lomé and other constituencies destroying polling stations and voting material. These acts were condemned by supporters of both President Eyadema and the opposition. Although the international observers deplored the violence, they held that its magnitude was not such as could have affected the outcome of the voting in any significant way.
There was so much controversy over the results, with the opposition and RPT trading accusations, that the National Electoral Commission published only partial figures and referred the rest to the Supreme Court. The delay in the publication of the final outcome led to pressure from mainly western European countries for the government authorities not to tamper with these results. Finally, on 14 March, more than three weeks after the second round, the Supreme Court announced the seat distribution.
Subsequently, RPT lodged a motion with the Supreme Court asking for the results to be invalidated in a number of constituencies, because of alleged fraud by the opposition. In its verdict, the Supreme Court annulled the results of the election in three constituencies where all the seats had been won by the opposition (two for CAR and one for UTD). These by-elections are due to take place on 28 November and 13 December 1994.
On 28 March, CAR and UDT, on the basis of their parliamentary majority and in accordance with their electoral coalition agreement, announced that they had proposed Mr. Agboyibo as their nominee for the post of Prime Minister. However, President Eyadema, who was required by the Constitution to appoint the Prime Minister from within the parliamentary majority, rejected this nomination. On 23 April, he appointed Mr. Edem Kodjo instead. CAR reacted by stating that Mr. Kodjo’s acceptance of this appointment was a violation of the agreement between the two parties and that the latter could no longer claim to belong to the opposition. They therefore refused to take part in Mr. Kodjo’s new Government which was announced on 25 May. Most of the ministerial portfolios went to RPT while UTD had four posts. The remaining posts went to a host of non-parliamentary parties or personalities not clearly identified with any political party.
This Government received the endorsement of the National Assembly two months later, on 24 June. The endorsement session was boycotted by CAR parliamentarians.
|Round no 1 (6 and 20 February 1994): Elections results|
|Number of registered electors||2,000,000 (approx.)|
|Round no 1: Distribution of seats|
|Togolese People’s Rally (RPT)||35|
|Action Committee for Renewal (CAR)||34|
|Togolese Union for Democracy (UTD)||6|
|Union for Justice and Democracy (UJD)||2|
|Co-ordination of New Forces (CFN)||1|
|Election results were invalidated in three constituencies.|
|Distribution of seats according to sex:|
Copyright © 1994 Inter-Parliamentary Union