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Opposition challenger rejects Togo election result

The main opposition challenger in Togo's election has rejected the result after incumbent Faure Gnassingbe was declared the winner. Post-election violence is feared.

Opposition leader Jean-Pierre Fabre (photo) said on Wednesday that results announced by the election commission late Tuesday were fraudulent and did not match those from polling stations compiled by his party. He called for results to be canceled.

The election commission chairman, Taffa Tabiou, announced late Tuesday night that Gnassingbe won 1.2 million votes, about 59 percent of the poll in Saturday's election. His main challenger, Jean Pierre Fabre, had 35 percent of the vote, the commission said.

But Fabre on Wednesday called the results fraudulent and demanded a cancellation of results. "I call on the people to mobilize by all legal means to counter this new coup," he said, accusing the government of refusing to organize free and fair elections.

"This is an electoral coup planned long ago," Fabre's campaign manager, Patrick Lawson-Banku, told a news conference on Wednesday. He added that the opposition will announce its own results.

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."

The Constitutional Court is to verify and publish final results before May 3, the official end of Gnassingbe's second term.

West African regional leaders led by Ghana's President John Dramani Mahama flew to Lome on Tuesday to meet with Gnassingbe and members of Fabre's CAP 2015 coalition. They failed to overcome opposition reservations about the poll.

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.

jm/sms (AP, Reuters)

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