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Togo parliament strips opposition challenger of immunity

By AFP - Mar 16,2020 - Last updated at Mar 16,2020


LOME — Togo's parliament on Monday stripped a top opposition leader of immunity from prosecution, paving the way for him to face criminal charges for disputing the reelection of President Faure Gnassingbe.

The incumbent won more than 70 per cent of the vote at a presidential election on February 22 to claim his fourth term and extend his family's five-decade rule over the west African country. 

But second-placed challenger Agbeyome Kodjo insisted he was the true winner after alleging widespread fraud to fix the results in Gnassingbe's favour. 

Prosecutors have accused Kodjo of threatening public order, spreading false news and undermining state security by proclaiming himself the rightful president in the wake of the vote.

The former prime minister had immunity from prosecution due to his position as a member of parliament. 

Gnassingbe, 53, has led the country of eight million people since taking over in 2005 following the death of his father Gnassingbe Eyadema, who ruled with an iron fist for 38 years.

Kodjo launched an appeal against last month's election result but it was rejected when the constitutional court confirmed Gnasssingbe as the winner. 

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