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Elections in Africa have constituted in almost all African countries and have constituted one of the major evils bedeviling the Nations. In all, the church through its various organs has continued to call for peaceful elections which spells peace in every country in the world. the conference of African bishops has severally called the attention of the contestants and the catholic Bishops of West Africa under the aegis of RECOWA-CERAO have been on this alarm for many years. Notwithstanding these calls, the Correspondent of RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY, RECONA based in Lomé, the political capital of Togo has reported that the Church in this West African country has raised a cry on the same issue of Election malpractice.

Details of the news have it that the Catholic Bishops in Togo are calling on stakeholders in the organization of legislative and regional elections in the country to ensure they are credible and peaceful.

Eligible voters in Togo are expected to take part in the election of 113 members of the National Assembly, alongside the first regional elections in the West African nation on April 20. President Faure Gnassingbé decided to postpone by one week the polls, from April 13 to April 20.

In a statement issued Friday, March 1 following their first ordinary session for 2024, members of the Episcopal Conference of Togo (CET) say, “Election periods generally rhyme with anxiety, worry and questioning due to suspicions, accusations of lack of transparency, irregularities, followed by violence with its dramatic consequences.’

“We the Bishops of Togo express the wish that the forthcoming legislative and regional elections take place in the best possible conditions,” CET members say.

They underscore the need for the elections to be credible and peaceful, saying, “Justice, fairness, and transparency in the organization, conduct and proclamation of results from the ballot box are essential; for they are the guarantees of a serene electoral period.”

“For the first time that regional elections will be held in the land of our forefathers to elect regional councilors, the Togo Bishops’ Conference urges all stakeholders to lay the best foundations for a peaceful post-electoral future,” CET members say. The official campaign period in Togo has been set for April 4-18.

In their March 1 statement, Catholic Bishops in Togo urge “respect for political opponents when speaking out and the creation of conditions for the free movement of all candidates.”

“All words and deeds prejudicial to peace and national unity must be avoided,” they emphasize. CET members also “plead for the release of political prisoners.”

In their collective statement, Catholic Bishops in Togo go on to emphasize the importance of peace, terming it “the foundation of all development.”

They continue referring to peace, “Striving to guarantee and preserve it, is a duty incumbent on all those who bear the concern for progress.”

“Dear citizens, let the love of our homeland carry us towards the common good. Our peaceful coexistence depends on it,” Catholic Bishops in Togo say.

They note that the “future of Togo our country concerns us all and invites us to intensify our prayers so that the Lord converts our hearts and strengthens social cohesion in our country.

The Catholic Church leaders invite the people of God in the West African nation to “take up with faith the Prayer for Peace in Togo; let’s take it up personally, as a family and as a community.”

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