Sunday 24 September 2017

Togo cabinet passes draft bill on term limits amid protests

Togo cabinet passes draft bill on term limits amid protests
(Reuters (Eng) 09/06/17)
Togo cabinet passes draft bill on term limits amid protests

Togo’s cabinet has adopted a draft bill to modify the constitution and reintroduce presidential term limits, the government said in a statement on Wednesday as thousands of protesters gathered on the streets of the capital Lome.

The West African country’s President Faure Gnassingbe has ruled since his father died in 2005 after 38 years in power. The latter, Gnassingbe Eyadema, passed a law in 1992 limiting the president to two mandates but scrapped it ten years later.

“This bill to modify the constitution concerns specifically the limitations of mandates and voting procedures,” said the government statement, referring to article 59 of the constitution.

Minister Gilbert Bawara told a pro-government website on Wednesday that the draft bill was intended to limit presidential terms to two five-year mandates. Opposition leaders could not immediately be reached for comment on the draft bill.

Thousands of people wearing the red, orange and pink colors of opposition parties marched in the streets of Lome on Wednesday carrying banners saying “Free Togo” and “Faure resign”. Two protesters were killed in clashes with security forces in similar anti-government protests last month.

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