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Togo opposition starts fresh anti-Gnassingbe protests today

Togo opposition starts fresh anti-Gnassingbe protests today


Togolese opposition parties will begin the latest round of anti-Gnassingbe protests today. The protests are expected to span a two-day period – October 4 – October 5, 2017.

The coalition accuses the government of not responding favourably to their requests after the last series of protests. An advertisement of the march listed three points of convergence, Atikoume/ Akossombo, Etablissement CCP and Be-Gakpoto.

Its last political move was a national shutdown call last week. It was largely observed in the capital, Lome and other parts of the country.

READ ALSO: Huge turnout for anti-Gnassingbe protest, US issues security alert

The main request of the coalition is for incumbent Faure Gnassingbe to leave power after 12 years in charge. His current mandate secured in 2015 runs till 2020. The opposition is calling for an immediate end to the Gnassingbe dynasty which has ruled for 50 years.

Faure’s father, Eyadema, ruled for 38 years till his death in 2005 when the army swore in his son contrary to constitutional provisions. The speaker of parliament had to be sworn in as acting president till the next leader was chosen.

Following international pressure, Faure resigned and later stood for elections on the ticket of the ruling party and won the 2005 elections and securing re-election in 2010 and 2015. The opposition have contested all of his victories.

As a result of the opposition push, the national assembly recently adopted a law that seeks to cap presidential term limits to two as was contained in the 1992 constitution. The law will, however, take effect only after 2020, which means Faure could spend some 13 years more as president.

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