Preliminary results from the national electoral commission showed on Monday, February 24, that Faure Gnassingbé had won 72 percent of the vote in the presidential elections that took place on Saturday, February 22. The opposition challenger Agbeyome Kodjo won just 18 percent of the vote, meaning a second round of voting is not required. The victory marks Gnassingbé's fourth term as President of Togo.
Local media outlets reported that armed troops later surrounded Kodjo's house, as well as the estate of the former archbishop of the capital of Lomé, Philippe Kpodzro, who had supported Kodjo's campaign. The government reportedly said that the military presence was temporary and for their "own safety."
Political rallies and gatherings are possible in the coming days and weeks in response to the election results. A heightened security presence is also possible in areas with opposition support.
The electoral commission barred both the Catholic Church and the National Consultation of Civil Society of Togo from observing the election.
Gnassingbé has led Togo since 2005. In May, parliament struck down a constitutional clause capping the presidential mandate to two five-year terms, allowing President Gnassingbé to potentially stay in office until 2030.
Individuals in Togo are advised to monitor developments to the situation and refrain from unnecessary travel to regions bordering Benin, Ghana, and Burkina Faso.