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Last Updated: Sunday, 14 October 2007, 20:46 GMT 21:46 UK
Togo votes in landmark election
A soldier votes in Lome, Togo
The Togolese army and security forces were allowed to vote early
The west African state of Togo has held parliamentary elections, with all opposition parties taking part for the first time in almost two decades.

Togolese leaders hope the poll will convince foreign donors to resume aid after a suspension lasting 15 years.

Correspondents in the capital, Lome, said turnout appeared to be high, with long queues at polling stations.

Hundreds of people were killed during the 2005 presidential election, won by current President Faure Gnassingbe.

He replaced his father, Gnassingbe Eyadema, who had ruled for 38 years and dealt ruthlessly with the opposition.

Dozens of parties and independent candidates competed for parliamentary seats in Sunday's election.

Map showing location of Togo, Benin and Ghana
3,000,000 voters
2,150 candidates
81 seats in national assembly
3,000 observers
Polls open 0700GMT-1700GMT

Opposition parties, including the Union of Forces for Change (UFC) of veteran opposition leader Gilchrist Olympio, have taken part in largely peaceful campaigns.

Official results were not expected until later in the week.

Past elections have often been little more than a sham, BBC West Africa correspondent Will Ross says.

The military carried out arbitrary arrests and extrajudicial killings during the 1990s, leading to the cutting of international aid.

Gnassingbe Eyadema's death was followed by further outcry when his own son was installed as president.

Faure Gnassingbe did step down in order for polls to be held but it was no great surprise when he emerged as the victor.

However, his presidential election two years ago was disputed and marred by violence in which hundreds of people were killed.

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