Thursday 21 September 2017
(AFP (eng) 09/21/17)
Togo on Thursday was bracing for another round of demonstrations in its seaside capital and other cities called by opposition groups intent on ending the rule of President Faure Gnassingbe, the scion of Africa's oldest political dynasty. On Wednesday, thousands had thronged the streets of Lome in rival demonstrations after the opposition boycotted a vote on constitutional reform which would have included a presidential term limit, arguing it was a ploy to let Gnassingbe stay in power until 2030. The opposition wanted the limit to apply retroactively so that Gnassingbe, who has been in power since 2005, could not run again in 2020. His father Gnassingbe Eyadema ruled from 1967 until his death in 2005...
(AFP (eng) 09/21/17)
A child was killed and at least 25 people were injured Wednesday in Togo as thousands held rival demonstrations over the continued rule of President Faure Gnassingbe, the scion of Africa's oldest political dynasty. Rival demonstrations in Lome drew thousands a day after the opposition boycotted a vote on constitutional reform which would have included a presidential term limit, arguing that it was a ploy to let Gnassingbe remain in power till 2030. The opposition wanted the limit to apply retroactively so that Gnassingbe...
(AFP (eng) 09/20/17)
Several thousand people thronged the streets of Togo's capital Wednesday after the ruling party urged supporters to march at the same time as planned opposition protests demanding the removal of President Faure Gnassingbe. The rival demonstrations in Lome came after the opposition boycotted a vote Tuesday on constitutional reform which would have included a presidential term limit. The opposition wanted the limit to apply retroactively so that Gnassingbe, who has been in power since 2005, could not run again in 2020. After more than 100,000 people across the country turned out for opposition protests on September 6 and 7, more marches were planned for Wednesday and Thursday.
(Reuters (Eng) 09/20/17)
A bill to limit presidents in Togo to two terms of office will be decided by referendum after it failed on Tuesday to win approval from parliament due to a boycott by opposition lawmakers. The boycott was called because the measure appears to exempt incumbent Faure Gnassingbe, who is already in his third term. Gnassingbe’s family has ruled the small West African country for 50 years and frustration over the slow pace of reform there has spilled onto the streets...
(AFP (eng) 09/19/17)
Togo's opposition stayed away from parliament on Tuesday, blocking the passage of the government's bill for political reform and forcing a referendum. The bill was published last week on the eve of protests calling for a revision of the constitution that developed into demands for President Faure Gnassingbe to step down. A four-fifths majority was needed for it to be approved but the opposition no-show meant it only secured 62 out of 91 votes, with one abstention. Eric Dupuy, spokesman...
(AFP (eng) 09/19/17)
Togo's ruling presidential party on Monday urged supporters to take to the streets to coincide with planned opposition demonstrations against the slow pace of political reform. Georges Kwawu Aidam, the first vice-president of the Union for the Republic (UNIR) told AFP there would be marches on Wednesday and Thursday in support of a controversial constitutional reform bill which the opposition see as not going far enough. A parliamentary panel last Friday approved the bill to revamp the constitution and introduce...
(AFP (eng) 09/16/17)
A parliamentary panel in Togo on Friday approved a controversial bill to revamp the constitution and introduce a presidential term limit, after days of protests against the regime of Faure Gnassingbe, the scion of Africa's oldest political dynasty. After a closed-door session, ten members of the National Assembly's law commission approved the government-proposed text by a six-to-four vote. But the commission did not accept any amendments proposed by opposition parties during a debate held at the same time in the parliament chamber, including opposition leader Jean-Pierre Fabre and three government ministers. "We submitted 48 amendments... the government which is backing this constitutional revision rejected them en bloc.
(AFP (eng) 09/15/17)
Lawmakers in Togo on Friday began looking at a bill to revamp the country's constitution and introduce a presidential term limit, after days of protests against Faure Gnassingbe's regime. Nine members of the National Assembly law commission started to study the government bill behind closed doors late morning, an AFP correspondent said. At the same time, lawmakers started debate the proposals in the parliament chamber. They included opposition leader Jean-Pierre Fabre and three government ministers. The law commission will submit its conclusions on the bill then all lawmakers will study it in plenary session. Gnassingbe's government approved the bill last Tuesday...
(AFP (eng) 09/14/17)
Togo's opposition parties on Thursday said they had shelved a planned meeting to discuss constitutional reform and instead called for the country's biggest ever anti-government protests. In a statement, they accused President Faure Gnassingbe and his government of resorting to "obstinacy and diversion" in response to growing calls for political change. The coalition of 14 parties want a two-term limit on presidential mandates and the introduction of a two-round voting system. They had been due to meet on Friday but instead called for "the biggest ever public mobilisation" against the regime next Wednesday and Thursday. Last week, the government gave an apparent concession to the hundreds...
(AFP (eng) 09/14/17)
Lawmakers in Togo will begin to look at a constitutional reform bill on Friday, the head of the National Assembly said Wednesday, after protests rocked the African country last week. Parliamentary groups and commissions met to read the government proposals, which came after opposition calls for a two-term limit for presidents and a two-round voting system. Togo's opposition has been calling for changes for more than a decade. Last week, hundreds of thousands took to the streets calling for reform. The Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Wednesday called on the government and opposition to carry out the reforms.
(AFP (eng) 09/13/17)
His family has ruled Togo for more than 50 years but President Faure Gnassingbe has in the last week faced unprecedented public pressure to step down. He and his country stand alone in West Africa in resisting calls for constitutional reform, even as parliament begins to look again at the issue. "Togo is the only ECOWAS country never to have seen any real democratic change," said political analyst Gilles Yabi, referring to the West African regional bloc. "The current regime...
(The Associated Press 09/13/17)
Togo's parliament suspended its session Tuesday as opposition members protested the lack of a promised discussion of constitutional reforms, while anger grew over the 50-year-rule of the Gnassingbe family. Opposition lawmakers want a discussion on reinstating the country's 1992 constitution, which included presidential term limits and two rounds of voting to allow the opposition to reassemble behind one candidate. Thousands of people across the small West African nation have been demonstrating for term limits on President Faure Gnassingbe, who has been in power since his father died in 2005. The protests began last month, when security forces killed at least two people and injured several others.
(AFP (eng) 09/12/17)
Lawmakers in Togo met in parliament on Tuesday after days of anti-government protests but constitutional reform was left off the agenda. Opposition party supporters had hoped that changes to the political system would be discussed after the government proposed a bill on the subject last week. But according to the official parliamentary agenda, the only topic for debate was the National Assembly's administrative budget for 2018. Eric Dupuy, spokesman for the main opposition National Alliance for Change (ANC) party, described the parliament as "out of sync with what's happening politically" in Togo. Opposition members of parliament requested the extraordinary session be ended immediately...
(AFP (eng) 09/12/17)
Togo on Monday cancelled an upcoming Africa-Israel summit, citing lack of time to prepare, after days of anti-government protests targeting President Faure Gnassingbe. The summit was due to have been held in the capital, Lome, late next month and was billed as a chance for closer cooperation in trade, security and diplomacy. "The summit has indeed been postponed," a source at Togo's foreign ministry told AFP, confirming an earlier statement from his counterparts in Israel. "No new date has been...
(Myjoyonline 09/11/17)
Former President Jerry John Rawlings has cautioned the security in Togo to respect the peaceful protests by the civilians calling for an immediate end to the 50-year rule of the current government. The former Ghanaian leader in a statement Monday, described the situation in the neigbouring country as one of "great concern". There is uneasy calm in Togo following series of protests across the country with some residents fleeing their homes. The protesters want the country to return to the...
(AFP (eng) 09/10/17)
Togo opposition leaders on Sunday said they were not hopeful of political change, as parliament prepared to discuss potential constitutional reform after days of huge anti-government protests. Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets this week calling for presidential term limits, denouncing President Faure Gnassingbe and his family's half-century in power. Gnassingbe took over as leader in 2005 after the death of his father, Gnassingbe Eyadema, who had come to power in 1967 after a military coup. Togo's...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/09/17)
The leader of Togo’s main opposition alliance said on Friday that President Faure Gnassingbe must quit power immediately or protests against his family’s 50-year ruling dynasty would continue. Thousands of people have taken to the streets in the past three days to demand that Gnassingbe step aside, in the most serious challenge to his family’s stranglehold on power since the death of his father in 2005. Police used tear gas to disperse protesters who were burning tires in Lome’s opposition...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/08/17)
Togo security forces fired tear gas at hundreds of anti-government protesters carrying out a late night sit-in at an intersection in central Lome as part of a bid to end the 50-year-old Gnassingbe family dynasty, witnesses said on Thursday. The move to disperse the crowds comes after two days of mass country-wide protests involving tens of thousands of people that have amounted to the biggest challenge to Faure Gnassingbe’s rule since he succeeded his late father 12 years ago. In...
(AFP (eng) 09/07/17)
Mobile internet services were off in Togo on Thursday, where new opposition protests were planned after huge anti-government demonstrations across the country. On social media such as Facebook and Twitter, which were still accessible using intermittent Wi-Fi access in the capital, Lome, users called for services to be restored. In a statement on Wednesday, the Internet Without Borders group called the shutdown "an attack on Togolese citizens' freedom of expression online". Amnesty International's Togo director, Aime Adi, told AFP by...
(Voice of America 09/07/17)
Protests were staged Wednesday across the small West African nation of Togo with demands for an end to the five-decade dynastic hold on power by President Faure Gnassingbe and his family. Hundreds of thousands of people, urged by leaders of Togo’s opposition parties, took to the streets of the capital, Lome, and several other cities calling for Gnassingbe to leave office once his term ends in 2020, and for a constitutional amendment to re-impose presidential term limits. A law was passed in 1992 that limited the president to two terms in office, but Gnassingbe’s father, the late President Gnassingbe Eyadema, scrapped it a decade later.

Pages