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Togo opposition leader claims presidency as court appeal prepared over poll

[JURIST] Togo opposition presidential candidate Bob Akitani [party website in French] Wednesday claimed he had won the presidency of the country with 70% of the vote and called for people to resist the government a day after official results put him a distant second to ruling party candidate Faure Gnassingbe in a poll rife with claims and counterclaims of fraud and intimidation. After the official results were announced Tuesday crowds of youths took to the streets in the capital Lome and elsewhere across the country to protest the vote; in the violence that followed hospital sources say that 11 people were killed and almost 100 were injured. As violence continued for a second day in some areas the government closed down most private radio stations as well as the local relay for Radio France International. The Togo government website is highlighting a statement by the Nigerian Foreign Minister that Akitani's claim to the presidency is "unconstitutional" [press statement in French]. Opposition sources say they are preparing to appeal the official results to Togo's constitutional court. BBC News has more.

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