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Last Updated: Friday, 20 June, 2003, 15:45 GMT 16:45 UK
Longest-serving leader sworn in
President Gnassingbe Eyadema
Appeals for an end to 'internecine fights'
Africa's longest-serving president, Gnassingbe Eyadema, has been sworn in for a fresh five-year term in Togo - a country he has ruled for 36 years.

He appealed in his inauguration speech for national unity, saying people of Togo had to reject "hatred, intolerance and internecine fights" for good.

And President Eyadema said full development of Togo could be achieved.

"Economic independence is not a utopia. It will be achieved through financial stabilisation, good governance, and transparent and rigorous management," he said.

"The fight against chaos, favouritism, squandering, and corruption in all its forms therefore remains an absolute priority."

The investiture in Lome was attended by the presidents of Benin, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger and Senegal.

Constitution changed

Also there were Amara Essy, the interim head of the African Union; and French Co-operation Minister Pierre-Andre Wiltzer.

TOGO ELECTIONS
President Eyadema in power since 1967
Constitution changed so he could run again
Opposition leader barred from poll

Mr Eyadema, who first gained power in a coup, won the presidential election with 57% of the vote.

Despite earlier pledges to step down this year, at the end of his second elected term, he decided to "sacrifice himself again", in the words of his prime minister.

Last year, parliament changed the constitution to let Mr Eyadema run again.

The president's main opposition rival, Gilchrist Olympio, was barred from the poll because he is living in exile.

Observers from the African Union said the poll was generally free and transparent.


SEE ALSO:
Togo's president re-elected
04 Jun 03  |  Africa
Arrests over Togo poll violence
03 Jun 03  |  Africa
Togo election fraud alleged
02 Jun 03  |  Africa
Togo exile loses appeal
07 May 03  |  Africa
Africa's big men and the ballot
30 Dec 02  |  Africa


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