Monday, November 19, 2007

Elections pay off for Togo

Looks like those mostly trouble-free elections were a good idea for the Government of Togo.

Reuters reports that the country has fulfilled the conditions of the European Union to restore cooperation.

Louis Michel, the EU's development and aid commissioner, made the announcement late on Saturday in Lome after meeting Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe, whose ruling RPT party won a big majority in the October 14 parliamentary polls.

The European Union, once Togo's biggest donor, froze most aid in 1993, citing the poor democratic record of the former French colony which has suffered decades of authoritarian rule and periods of bloody unrest since independence in 1960.

Holding multi-party elections met one of the conditions set by the EU for normalising cooperation, and international observers declared them broadly free, fair and transparent.

"From my point of view, the conditions for the full and complete normalisation of cooperation between the European Union and Togo are fulfilled," Michel told reporters after his talks with Gnassingbe.

Full cooperation should be formally restored in the coming weeks, he said.

For a background story (with a similar headline), see here.

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