Sunday 19 November 2017

Togo: Thousands protest to press for political reforms

Togo: Thousands protest to press for political reforms
(APA 09/07/17)
Togo: Thousands protest to press for political reforms

Several thousand Togolese have taken to the streets of Lome, and several cities in the country to demand political reforms, APA can report.

In Lome, protesters led by the opposition leaders left from several rallying points, and the processions moved toward one of the main crossroads of Lome called Dekon, from where thousands marched towards the Place of the Dove of Peace and the football grounds of Saint Joseph in the center of the capital city.

Most of the protesters waved banners and chanted slogans hostile to the regime of Faure Gnassingbe, including messages such as: “50 years is enough”; “The Constitution of 92 it’s now"; and "the Diaspora must vote".

"The Togolese are exasperated. It feels like the government is not concerned about what is happening. We demand the restoration of the 1992 Constitution,” Brigitte Adjamadjo Johnson, president of the coalition of opposition parties gathered under the umbrella body of “CAP 2015”, declared in an interview with APA.

The march comes on the heels of the adoption by the Togolese government of a draft bill that limits the presidential term of office to two five-year terms, and instituted a second-round electoral system.

"The President of the Republic has reaffirmed his will to openness, and has invited political actors in that regard to support the draft constitutional amendment,” a statement issued at the end of the council of ministers’ meeting declared.

"The initiative is in the spirit of the preservation of an atmosphere of peace and serenity, which is a prerequisite for our country to intensify its efforts to meet the basic needs of the people in terms of improving their living conditions,” the government document went on.

Brigitte Adjamagbo-Johnson described the government’s bid as "a non-event."

"This is nonsense. We are past that stage. We will no longer accept to be fooled with a false sense of compromise as was the case for the last eleven years. Enough is enough!" she said, before calling the Togolese to join a new protest march in Lome and other cities in Togo next Wednesday.

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