Togo heads to polls amid claims of power grab by President Gnassingbé

Campaigning was rushed on the back of parliament’s approval of constitutional reforms that would allow lawmakers to elect the president instead of a direct vote by the people.

The move transformed Togo, one of the world’s poorest countries, from a presidential system to a parliamentary one.

It establishes new prime minister-style position called President of the council of ministers, to be held by the leader of the biggest party. Opposition parties denounced the reform as a ploy by Gnassingbé and his ruling Union for the Republic party – which has a majority in the 91-seat National Assembly – to get around presidential term limits.

The 57-year-old leader will likely assume the new position when his term expires next year.

Credit: rfi


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