Togo Postpones Elections Indefinitely

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The government of Togo has announced the postponement of the legislative elections initially scheduled for April 20 to a later, unspecified date.

Naija News reports that this decision comes after the National Assembly approved a contentious constitutional reform that has ignited opposition claims of an attempt to extend President Faure Gnassingbe’s tenure.

In a statement released by the presidency, the need for “consultations” was cited as the reason for the delay, following the amendment in March that sparked fears among opposition factions regarding President Gnassingbe’s prolonged hold on power.

Gnassingbe took office in 2005, succeeding his father, who had led the country since a coup 50 years prior.

His reign has been characterized by-election victories disputed by the opposition over alleged irregularities.

The recent constitutional reform, which aimed to transition Togo from a presidential to a parliamentary system—thereby empowering the assembly to elect the president for a single six-year term—has further fueled concerns over Gnassingbe’s potential indefinite rule.

The clarity on whether this term could be renewed remains uncertain, adding to the opposition’s apprehensions.

The postponement of the elections was justified by the need for the National Assembly, dominated by Gnassingbe’s UNIR party, to engage in extensive consultations with all involved stakeholders.

However, no new date for the elections has been provided, leaving the political future of the West African nation in limbo.

The announcement of the election delay was also broadcast on state television, marking a significant development in Togo’s political landscape.

This move has elicited varied reactions, including a police crackdown on an opposition news conference and appeals from nearly 100 university academics, intellectuals, and civil society actors for public mobilization against the perceived abuse of power.

Additionally, the arrest of a Togolese newspaper editor and warnings from media watchdogs of a potential press clampdown ahead of the elections has raised concerns about freedom of expression and democratic processes in the country.



Source link: Naija News/

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