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ECOWAS sanctions imposed as pressure for elections in Togo mounts

[JURIST] The Economic Community of West African States [official website] has announced that member countries will impose sanctions against Togo as world pressure mounts for Togo to hold democratic elections. Faure Gnassingbe [BBC News profile] was appointed president on February 5, within hours of the death of his father, who ruled the country for 38 years. Opposition has been demanding an election [Reuters report] with temporary ruling power granted to parliament, as the Togolese Constitution mandates. Gnassingbe Friday promised an election [JURIST report] to be held within 60 days, but insisted on staying in power to oversee them, a move which failed to appease opponents. Responding to the announcement Sunday, Togo's Information Minister Pipang Tchalla condemned the sanctions saying that "It is sad that our friends are not prepared to understand what is going on in Togo." Opposition leader Yawovi Agboyibo said the sanctions, which will include a travel ban on Togolese leaders and an arms embargo, were "a welcome and bold decision." AP has more.

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