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June 21: Hundreds of Togolese voters took to the streets to protest delays at the polls and what some complained as irregularities in the presidential election. Demonstrators in the capital, Lome, delivered a letter to the german ambassador protesting what the political opposition described as voting irregularities. They later chanted anti-government slogans in front of the american embassy.

Balloting was delayed in many areas until mid-afternoon, due to the absence of voter lists and ballot boxes. But polling officials in parts of the interior said voting started on time. The political opposition said voting lists and other materials were delivered on time in areas believed to be bastions of support for the incumbent president Gnassingbe Eyadema.

Opposition parties had requested a postponement of the election, claiming their supporters were deliberately prevented from registering before the deadline. Sunday's election had been postponed twice since the original may seventh date.

President Eyadema has ruled Togo for 31-years. He is seeking another five-year term. To do so, he must defeat five other candidates by a simple majority. If no one candidate wins an outright majority sunday, a run-off will be held between the top two candidates. His chief rival is Gilchrist Olympio, the son of Togo's first president, Sylvanus Olympio, who was killed in a 1963 coup. Gilchrist Olympio was shot and seriously wounded in 1992 while campaigning in the country's first democratic election. Since then he has lived in exile, mostly in neighbouring ghana. He returned briefly last april to declare his candidacy in this year's election.

These are the second multi-party presidential elections since the government accepted democratic reforms in the late 1980's. The opposition boycotted the elections in 1993.
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