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Brussels, 16 October 2007

Togo: all calm as parliamentary elections are held on 14 October 2007

The European Union is closely monitoring the parliamentary elections in Togo. The elections are a major step forward on the country’s road to democracy.

Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Louis Michel, is delighted that, "Sunday's elections in Togo took place in calm conditions and with a massive turn-out at the polls by the electorate. I'm delighted to have witnessed the confident and mature manner in which the Togolese people carried out this democratic process. I would like to congratulate the people and the authorities of Togo as well as all those who helped bring this about. I call for the authorities and the political parties to respect the democratic path that the citizens of Togo have so clearly chosen."

Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Commissioner for External Relations and the European Neighbourhood Policy, said "I congratulate the Togolese people on their turnout. I call on all Togolese to continue the democratic process peacefully. If the electoral process continues smoothly, the elections will be a major landmark in the return to democracy. I await with interest the initial findings of the EU election observation mission – which has been on the ground since 8 September – on the elections, which will be presented on Tuesday 16 October."

The European Union had sent an election observation mission (EOM), headed by Chief Observer Fiona Hall, to monitor the electoral campaign, the preparations for the elections and polling day. Over 80 observers were in the country on polling day. The mission will stay there to monitor the rest of the electoral process, which includes the counting of the votes, the totting up of the results and the handling of any complaints.

The European Commission is supporting the transition process with a grant of €13.6 million from the EDF to the UN Trust Fund that has been specially set up.

Some measures to improve governance and restore Togolese confidence are already underway while others are in the pipeline.
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