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Togo's main opposition coalition on Wednesday rejected the results of a presidential election after incumbent Faure Gnassingbe was declared the winner, instead claiming a win for its candidate.

The April 25 vote was largely peaceful, but tensions have risen as results trickled in.

Late on Tuesday, Togo's election commission said provisional results showed Gnassingbe had won the vote with more than 1.2 million votes, 58.75 percent of the total.

Jean-Pierre Fabre, Gnassingbe’s main challenger, has denounced the “fraudulent” results and proclaimed his own victory.

“This is a victory for Togo and its people, achieved in spite of all kinds of obstacles,” Fabre told reporters on Wednesday, saying he considered himself the West African nation’s new president-elect.

Earlier, his campaign manager, Patrick Lawson-Banku, said the opposition categorically rejected the results announced by the electoral commission.

The results “have nothing to do with those compiled from records collected by our representatives in the polling stations,” Lawson-Banku said, denouncing “an electoral coup planned long ago”.

Gnassingbe has been president since 2005, when his father died after 38 years in charge of the former French colony. He won re-election in another disputed poll in 2010.

His first mandate was tarnished by violent protests that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of people opposed to the dynastic succession.

Many fear a protracted dispute over this election will lead to more bloodshed.


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