After a calm, rain-sodden morning in the West African country’s capital Lome, tempers flared in some opposition neighborhoods as rumors of ballot-box stuffing spread in the sweltering afternoon heat. In the suburb of Aguia Kome, smoke billowed from a burned car that opposition youths said had been carrying doctored boxes. They said the driver had got away and the excited crowds quickly dispersed when firemen doused the flames.
The citizens of this destitute West African nation are voting today on a new president after the dictator of 38 years passed away in February. Tensions have been high as the dictator’s son takes on a unified opposition party candidate in this critical democratic election test.