Olympio is in exile and fears for his safety if he returns
The main opposition party in Togo, The Union for Forces for Change, has elected its exiled leader Gilchrist Olympio to contest presidential elections due this year.
Mr Olympio who lives in France is likely to be pitted against his arch rival the long serving president Gnassingbe Eyadema.
In 1992 Mr Olympio returned to the country, but his campaign motorcade came under fire which left five people in his entourage dead and 17 others including himself injured.
Mr Olympio was prevented from taking part in last October's legislative elections because of a law which says candidates must live in the country.
He told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme he would go back to Togo to contest this year's polls provided his security was assured, especially by the internationally community.
Asked why he was even thinking of going back to a country where he had narrowly escaped death he said:
"Call it a sense of duty. You started something you must finish it off. Call it a death wish if you like," he told the BBC.
Eyedema is yet to officially declare his intention
The opposition leader claimed he won the 1998 elections but said the results had been rigged to allow Eyadema to remain in power - a view supported by many foreign observers.
President Eyadema has so far not openly stated his intention to run in this year's elections but changes to the 1992 multi-party constitution by parliament last year does pave the war for him to run for a third term.
He is Africa's longest serving head of state who seized power in a coup in 1967.
Mr Eyadema dominates the political landscape in Togo. and rules with an iron fist, prompting sharp criticism of his human rights record from political opponents and human rights groups.
The European Union and other western countries suspended their cooperation with Togo in 1993, after hundreds of people died in political and social unrest in the early 1990s.