LOME, March 7 (Xinhua) -- Togo's outgoing President Faure Gnassingbe has won the presidential elections held on Thursday in the West African country, according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI).
Gnassingbe won 1.24 million votes or 60.9 percent of 2 million votes, well ahead of closest rival, Jean-Pierre Fabre, who attained more than 690,000 votes, according to results read by Taffa Tabiou, president of the CENI.
Fabre, candidate of the leading opposition United Forces for Change (UFC) party, Friday had claimed his party won the presidential elections before the official results were declared.
Gnassingbe run for his second term on the March 4 elections as the candidate of the ruling Assembly of Togolese People (RPT).
He was elected in April 2005 after a hotly contested election that was organized following the death of Gen. Gnassingbe Eyadema, his father, on Feb. 5, 2005 after in power for 38 years.
Faure was born on June 6, 1966 in the southern city of Afagnan. After grown up, he joined the military ranks under the control of Gen. Gnassingbe who was also an embodiment of the ruling party RPT from 1969 to 1990.
Faure is always presented by his party as the "bridge between the north and the south," the poles of origin of his father and mother in a country frequently cursed by ethnic and regional feuds.
He began the primary education at the Tokoin Military Camp (RIT) in Lome and the secondary education at the Chaminade College in Kara in the north with one year spent at the Lome Protestant College. He obtained a scientific high school diploma at the Saint Cyrus Military School in France.
His university education had French and English influence. After his studies in Management at the Dauphine University in Paris, Faure went on to get a Masters in Business Administration ( MBA) at the George Washington University in the United States.
Faure returned to Togo in 1998 and started his political career under the umbrella of his father. He served as head of several official missions.
In March 1999, he was elected as a deputy of the National Assembly (parliament) from central Togo. He was elevated to the head of the External Relations and Cooperation Commission.
Re-elected to parliament in 2003, he was also named on July 2007 as the mines and the posts and telecommunications minister.
After the death of Gen. Gnassingbe on Feb. 5, 2005, Faure took over the leadership of the National Assembly, and was eventually declared the country's president. Under political pressure, he ceded power to contest in the presidential elections in April 2005. He was elected with 60.15 percent of the votes cast.