Both sides made the offer as violence erupted between opposition supporters and troops in the country’s capital, Lome.

At least three people are believed to have been killed during polling on April 24, as voters were asked to choose a new leader.

However, Togo’s acting interior minister has only confirmed one death.

Faure Gnassingbe, the son of Gnassinge Eyadema who ruled Togo for 38 years until his death on February 5, came up against Emmanuel Akitani Bob, the opposition candidate for Togo’s main radical coalition.

Tensions have been brewing in Togo, since the army attempted to install Mr Gnassingbe as his father’s successor.

The move was overturned after pressure from regional leaders forced a promise of elections.

Both sides have traded accusations of intimidation and fraud in the lead up to the vote.

But in talks mediated by Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo, Mr Gnassingbe and exiled opposition leader Gilchrist Olympio embraced and agreed to the formation of a unified government, whatever the vote’s outcome.

“They agreed that what has happened in Togo in the last 38 years was a government of one person,” President Obasanjo told reporters in Abuja.

“They agreed that whoever wins will forge ahead with a government of national unity which will make everybody have a stake in the government.”

The Nigerian leader added the Togolese opponents also supported reforming the country’s constitution to “satisfy what today we would call democracy, fundamental human rights, popular participation and the rule of law.”

Togo’s transition to democracy will be monitored by a committee under the chairmanship of the African Union, bringing on board Togolese parties, the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and ambassadors from central and western African countries.

But while Togo’s political leadership looks to the future, doubts have emerged over the legitimacy of the latest presidential vote.

“There were reports of irregularities, including ballot stuffing as well as some control over the ballot boxes,” the US deputy State Department spokesman, Adam Ereli, said.

Mr Ereli said six US embassy teams along with 150 ECOWAS personnel had observed the poll and were making their assessments.