Togo constitutional reform

Togolese Government Faces Backlash Over Proposed Constitutional Changes

The Togolese government is considering a new constitution that would increase presidential terms from five to six years, with the 20-year term of Faure Gnassingbé not counted towards the new term.

The Catholic Christian clergy have urged the president not to sign the bill into law, arguing that it should be a matter of broad consultation and a more inclusive national debate.

They also called on Faure Gnassingbé to engage in an inclusive political dialogue following the legislative and regional elections scheduled for April 20.

The constitutional reform was passed by lawmakers on Monday, but it is unclear when the changes will come into force. Opposition leader Eric Dupuy called on the population to reject the constitutional reform and oppose it massively.

However, police broke up a news conference called by the opposition, throwing leaders and journalists out of the venue.

Constitutional law lecturer Zeus Ajavon argued that the Assembly has no power to revise a constitution, and a referendum is necessary for the country to adopt a new constitution. Togo, a nation of around 8 million people, has been ruled by the same family for 57 years, initially by Eyadema Gnassingbé and subsequently by his son.

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