Polls open in Togo's presidential vote

Togo's opposition leader and Alliance for National change candidate for Togo's presidential election, Jean-Pierre Fabre, waves to supporters during a presidential campaign meeting on April 23, 2015 in Lome. AFP PHOTO

Polls have opened in Togo's presidential election on Saturday, with the incumbent Faure Gnassingbe seeking a third term in office to extend his family's grip on power into a second half-century.

Voting began shortly after 8:00 am (0700GMT) in Lome, the capital of the west African nation where 3.5 million people are registered to vote.

Queues were thin in the central administrative district, but in the densely populated Pa de Souza neighbourhood -- an opposition stronghold -- hundreds were waiting to cast their ballots, AFP journalists said.

Polling stations are scheduled to close at 1600 GMT.

Some 9,000 police and soldiers were on patrol, with borders shut until Sunday morning for security reasons, officials said.


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