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To: "SVD webmaster SVD" <webmaster@svdcuria.org>
Date: 17 May 2005, 04:13:26 PM
Subject: Togo

Togo: European Parliament says fresh elections are needed
(European Parliament, May 12, 2005)

n a resolution on Togo, adopted by 56 votes in favour to 3 against with 4 abstentions, Parliament firmly condemns both the brutal repression perpetrated by the police against people disputing the regularity of the elections and the abusive treatment of foreigners, as well as the arson attack which completely destroyed the Goethe Institute in Lomé. It calls on the Togolese authorities to ensure that all foreign citizens and institutions are properly protected.

MEPs call on the security forces to stop all abusive and intimidatory acts against the civilian population, to put an end to the activities of armed gangs and to carry out their duty to maintain order while strictly respecting human rights. They call for the establishment of an independent fact-finding commission to be responsible for clarifying the abusive acts carried out and to assign responsibility so that the guilty parties may be prosecuted and made to answer for their actions, while respecting their right to a fair trial.

Parliament takes the view that the circumstances in which recent elections were held did not comply with the principles of transparency, pluralism and the freedom of the people to determine their own future, principles which were guaranteed by the relevant regional and international instruments, and that the legitimacy of the authorities established on the basis of these elections may not be acknowledged. It emphasises that these elections do not comply with the conditions laid down as a precondition for the resumption of cooperation between Togo and the European Union.

MEPs call on the Togolese authorities to convene a national conference, to be attended by the opposition parties and representatives of civil society, with a view to finding a solution to the crisis and to envisage new presidential and legislative elections worthy of the name: i.e. democratic, free, fair and transparent, under international supervision and after a consensual review of the code and the electoral rolls. They call on the European Commission, the Council and all regional and international institutions to work for a return to security and dialogue so that the leaders of all the political movements and civilian and military institutions may set out along the road towards national reconciliation and a genuine transitional process, in compliance with the democratic decision of all Togolese.

Parliament says EU Member States should abstain from making unilateral declarations on the regularity of the elections and, instead, to seek a common position within the EU. MEPs urges the Togolese authorities to comply with the 22 undertakings given in connection with the consultations under Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement as regards the restoration of democracy and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. Finally, they take the view that the Togolese authorities must assume total responsibility for all acts of violence perpetrated against the physical integrity of civilians and, in particular, against representatives of the opposition political parties, human rights activists and journalists.

Press enquiries:
Ralph Pine
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e-mail: rpine@europarl.eu.int