'Hunted' Togolese minister arrives in France

7th May 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 6 (AFP) - A former interior minister of Togo who had denounced the holding of elections there last month has arrived in France after leaving the German embassy in Lome where he has been holed up for the past two weeks, the French foreign ministry said Friday.

PARIS, May 6 (AFP) - A former interior minister of Togo who had denounced the holding of elections there last month has arrived in France after leaving the German embassy in Lome where he has been holed up for the past two weeks, the French foreign ministry said Friday.  

Francois Esso Boko "arrived in France by a private German flight," said the ministry's spokeswoman, Cecile Pozzo di Borgho.  

Two days before an April 24 presidential election in the west African country, Boko had called for the vote to be suspended and a transitional regime installed, warning the poll could put the African country on the slippery slope to violence.  

He was dismissed from his post, and believing his life was in danger, Boko took refuge in the German embassy, which he left on Thursday.  

The legal status of Boko, who is married to a Frenchwoman, "is currently being examined," Pozze di Borgho said.  

Faure Gnassingbe was sworn in Wednesday as the new president of Togo in front of the constitutional court that earlier confirmed he won the elections to succeed his late father, long-time ruler Gnassingbe Eyadema.  

Gnassingbe, 39, was credited with a 60-percent majority in the elections whose provisional results unleashed violence in the west African country that left a reported 100 people dead and sent some 18,500 civilians fleeing to neighbouring states.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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