Welcome words from Prof. Robert DUSSEY, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and Togolese Abroad, on the occasion of the meeting with international electoral observers
Lomé, February 19, 2020
Ladies and Gentlemen Ministers,
Excellencies Ladies and Gentlemen Ambassadors,
Ladies and Gentlemen Representatives of International Organizations,
Ladies and Gentlemen Representatives of International Non-Governmental Organizations,
Ladies and Gentlemen Experts on electoral matters,
Ladies and gentlemen,
The international observers are in Togo for a noble mission and I would like to wish them, on behalf of the President of the Republic, H.E. Faure Essozimna GNASSINGBE, cordial welcome and a good working stay in our country. Those among the group who are not new to electoral observation in Togo certainly remember the astonishing report of our country and the Togolese to otherness. For those who arrived for the first time, I would like to assure them of the hospitality of Togo and the compatriots.
Your presence on Togolese soil in the context of the presidential election, the first round of which will take place on February 22, 2020, clearly reflects a double desire, first the government’s desire for transparency, then that of you international observers to accompany the democratic experience of our country in its irreversible drive towards perfection. The Government does not hide its pride in seeing you so actively mobilized around the process.
Your glances of foreign and impartial actors will help the balance sheet to a holistic and equitable apprehension of the whole process. Impartiality, Adam SMITH teaches us in his work The Theory of Moral Sentiments requires that, apart from national gazes, we take into account “distant points of view”, “eyes of humanity”, and c It is in this dynamic of “open impartiality” that your presence in Togo is part of.
Ladies and gentlemen
An election is an opportunity to reaffirm the democratic flame. Armed with this conviction, our country has put all the odds on its side in order to align its electoral consultations with democratic requirements. The bet and the Government is working to keep it, it is to allow our democracy to grow by working for the absolute impartiality of the ballot. The election on Saturday 22 February is very open in view of the plurality of candidates. The electoral campaign started on February 06 and ends tomorrow on February 20, 2020.
Sincerity is a prerequisite for the credibility of an election and the poll will be held in the direction of truth and strict sincerity. It is a 2-round election after the last reform of the Basic Law of our country and, for the first time, an election open to Togolese in the diaspora. These two major developments constitute the great novelty of the ballot and mark the start of a new history of Togolese democracy in constant self-improvement and in continuous steps towards great maturity.
Ladies and gentlemen
Many observers with better expertise and proven experience in the electoral register support the process. The Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) today accredited 19 civil society organizations and 2 institutions of the Republic to observe the elections. In terms of international observers, several international partner organizations as well as a range of actors are accredited.
A total of 280 international election observers from international organizations, diplomatic missions near our country and the foreign ministries of partner states are accredited:
- 10 observers come from the Entente Council, 79 from ECOWAS, 45 from the African Union, 17 from CEN-SAD and 14 from the United Nations, making a total of 165 observers from international organizations.
- 46 observers come from the Embassy of the United States of America in Togo, 20 from the African Group of Ambassadors, 11 from the Embassy of France, 10 from the Delegation of the European Union and 07 from the Embassy of Germany . Other embassies such as those of Italy, Spain, South Korea and Angola have sent observers. A total of 101 observers come from diplomatic missions accredited to Togo.
- 14 international observers from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Ladies and gentlemen International observers,
You know your work well and you participate in the process as a professional. However, you would like to invite yourself to exercise your mission within the framework of the ethics of conviction and the ethics of responsibility. By carrying out your mission with complete conviction and with respect for your mandate, you will be able to resist and overcome any partisan logic and act with strict impartiality. Acting within the framework of the ethics of responsibility will allow you to constantly and at all times keep in mind your objective prerogatives and limits. The supporter of the ethics of responsibility, Max WEBER tells us in his book The Scientist and the Politician, thinks of the consequences of his actions when he acts or poses them.
With regard to the measures and provisions taken by the CENI and the Government for the smooth running of the poll, we have among us the President of the CENI and the colleagues in charge of the Territorial Administration and Security, or their representatives , who will have the opportunity to situate you on these measures and provisions which are both operational and safe.
Finally, I would like to once again wish everyone a warm welcome to our country and good luck on your various missions. Thank you for your choice to accompany Togo and thank you.