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01.03.2005 Togo

Togolese Leaders to adopt ECOWAS proposals

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Accra, March 1, GNA - The Political Leadership of Togo on Tuesday said it was ready to adopt measures to implement proposals of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) to ensure an uneventful electoral process to elect a new president following the death of President Gnassinngbe Eyadema. In a communiqu=E9 issued in Lome, Togo, and copied to the GNA in Accra the Interim Government of Togo said they would involve the ECOWAS, the African Union and other partners in support of the electoral process.

The communiqué was issued after a delegation of ECOWAS representatives paid a working visit to Togo on Monday. The delegation included Mr Mamadou Tandja, ECOWAS Chairman, Amadou Toumani Toure, President of Mali and Mr Lawan Gana Guba, Minister of Integration and Cooperation in Africa of Nigeria. The communiqué said the delegation met with Mr Abass Bonfoh, Interim President of Togo, the Prime Minister, all the political parties, the Minister of Defence, Minister of the Interior and the Chief of Defence Staff of the Armed Forces of Togo to discuss various issues and also paid a condolence call on the Gnassingbe family.

Issues agreed upon were the monitoring of the upcoming presidential election by international institutions; reduction of the amount of surety and the need to further guarantee the security of all political stakeholders and their freedom to move freely in Togo. It also emphasised the need to guarantee and enhance fundamental liberties; the need for all political stakeholders and their followers to refrain from violence and inflammatory statements; the need for public administration; security forces and all republican institutions to remain impartial and neutral and ensure equal access to Government media for all political parties.

The communiqué said the ECOWAS delegation reiterated to all the Togolese political actors the objectives of ECOWAS, namely, the respect for constitutional legality; the need to ensure the conduct of transparent, free and fair elections within 60 days as required by the Constitution of Togo and the need to respect civil liberties, maintain peace and security for all Togolese during the interim period. It said the group called for a spirit of national reconciliation and compromise on the part of all sides to guarantee the success of the interim period and emphasised the importance of reaching consensus on outstanding issues relating to the conduct of elections in the context of the on-going dialogue with the European Union. Such agreement would create the conditions for holding credible elections.

The communiqué called for representation of all political parties as full members of administrative committees and commissions in charge of elections at the local level with powers to sign electoral results slips and be given copies. The Heads of State called upon the international community, in particular the United Nations and European Union to provide urgently needed resources for the presidential elections.