Togo's government on Monday (Nov. 27) said the next legislative and regional elections would take place "at the latest " at the end of the first quarter of 2024.
This delay was criticized Tuesday (Nov. 28) by the coordinator of the DMP coalition of opposition parties. Brigitte Kafui Adjamagbo-Johnson criticizes an unrealistic timetable for genuinely free elections and alerts about an "institutional vacuum"
"We are headed towards a constitutional vacuum. Our constitution requires us to hold elections at the latest, 30 days before the mandate of the assembly expires. Taking a broad view, the mandate ends at the end of December, and that means that we will have an assembly which will no longer be based on any legality, an assembly in which the ruling party hold the majority and supports the government, this means that the government itself would no longer have any legality and Togo's problems will be even more complicated."
Monday's announcement sets back President Faure Gnassingbe's promise to hold polls within 12 months.
If an audit aimed to assess the transparency and accuracy of the electoral register was recently declared reliable, the opposition maintains that there are other sources of concern.
"We consider that nothing was resolved by this electoral file audit. Everything needs to be reviewed, starting with the conflicting census. And this is why we are in the ECOWAS Court of Justice against the State ."
The opposition coalition coordinator has called for the renewal of the electoral commission's mandate and fairer constituency boundaries among other reforms.
Most importantly, she's asked for talks with the government to solve unresolved issues, warning of demonstrations if no consultation is organized in the runup to the vote.
In 2010 Adjamagbo-Johnson became the first woman to run for president in the West African state, but withdrew her candidacy fearing fraud.
Togo's head of state has been in power since 2005 after the death of his father, General Eyadema Gnassingbe, who ruled the country for 38 years.