Togo's Fabre reinstates election bid as collective opposition leader

12:49, February 18, 2010      

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Togo's Jean-Pierre Fabre, secretary general of the West African country's leading opposition party UFC, reinstated his bid on Wednesday to run in the presidential elections early next month.

He said will be the candidate of several opposition parties.

Fabre, previously the candidate of the United Forces for Change (UFC), was repositioned on Wednesday as the candidate for a collection of political parties under the umbrella of the Republican Front for Alternation and Change (FRAC).

FRAC brings together ADDI, Alliance, PSR, the association working for Kofi Yamgnane, the independent candidate whose documents were rejected by the constitutional court and the UFC. Yamgnane was named as the spokesman of FRAC, and the UFC's first vice president Patrick Lawson was appointed as the director of election campaigns.

These parties and associations told a press conference that their main objectives were to ensure that by all means the elections are free and fair and that they will campaign together to protect the authentic election results. They vowed to take over power in the elections and democratically govern Togo together.

According to the officials, FRAC was born out of discussions that took place in Paris on Feb. 9-10. Being an initiative of the former head of the Togolese platoon of gendarmes and the former interior minister in exile in France, Akila-Esso Boko, the Paris meeting attracted Jean-Pierre Fabre, Yamgnane and Agbeyome Kodjo of the Organization to Build Togo in Unity and Solidarity (OBUTS).

The Paris talks were rejected by Yawovi Agboyibo of the Action Committee for Renewal (CAR), the second largest opposition party in Togo, and Brigitte Adjamagbo-Johnson of the Democratic Convention for African People (CDPA). They indicated that Fabre had been imposed as the candidate of choice.

On Sunday, the UFC decided to suspend the participation of its candidate in the March 4 presidential elections, after suspending the party's three representatives in the activities of the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI).

The opposition parties clashed with CENI over the revision of electoral lists and the code related to the polls. At least three parties including the UFC, CAR and the CDPA briefly pulled out of the planned race in protest before the election campaign was officially kicked off on Tuesday.

Source: Xinhua
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