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Togo’s President Sworn In

July 24, 1998

LOME, Togo (AP) _ President Gnassigbe Eyadema, who has ruled Togo since a bloody coup 31 years ago, was sworn in Friday for his second presidential term following a disputed election victory.

Eyadema, who won his first term in 1993 after 26 years as a dictator, pledged to uphold human rights and the constitution while developing the economy. But the 37 opposition members in Togo’s 81-person parliament boycotted the ceremony and called for a general strike.

Several days of protests and riots followed Eyadema’s declared victory in June 21 elections in which vote-counting was interrupted and the chief electoral officer resigned. The European Union and United States criticized the elections.

The country’s most popular opposition leader, Gilchrist Olympio, officially came in second. Olympio, the son of Togo’s first president _ who was killed by Eyadema _ lives in exile.

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