Togo’s opposition urges mass protests over delayed elections

The opposition accuses President Faure Gnassingbe of hijacking power in a bid to rule indefinitely following parliament’s approval of the reform, which would switch the country from a presidential to a parliamentary system. Togo’s parliament, dominated by the ruling UNIR party (Union for the Republic), adopted the law on 25 March. Under it, MPs will elect the president for a single six-year term instead of a renewable five-year term.

While the new law restricts the power of future presidents, it gives greater power to a figure similar to a prime minister, officially called the president of the council of ministers. A renewable position also elected by MPs.

Saying more consultations are needed over the reform, the presidency suspended the 20 April legislative and regional elections without giving a new date.

“We felt it was important to have wide-ranging consultations … It is not possible to debate the reforms and, at the same time, campaign for upcoming elections,” Gilbert Bawara, the minister for civil service and social dialogue, told RFI.

“That’s why they’re slightly delayed.”

Credit: rfi


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