Togo Delays April 20 Legislative Ballot Until an Unspecified Date

Thu Apr 04 2024
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LOME, Togo: Togo’s government has delayed April 20 legislative ballot until an unspecified date and time, the presidency said Wednesday, after lawmakers approved controversial constitutional reform.

According to the presidency statement, “Consultations” were needed over the amendment adopted by parliament last month that has triggered fierce criticism from the opposition.

Country’s President Faure Gnassingbe last week returned the reform to the assembly for a second reading after the opposition criticized the measure as a power grab to keep him in office.

“The National Assembly wished to have some days to engage in broad consultations with all stakeholders,” said the statement further.

“Consequently, the government will conduct a slight rearrangement of the calendar of legislative and regional elections initially scheduled for April 20.”

The statement, however, did not give a new date for the vote. President Gnassingbe’s UNIR party dominate the parliament which adopted the law that would switch Togo from a presidential to a parliamentary system, giving the assembly the power to elect the president for a single six-year term.

It is still unclear if the term can be renewed, but it caused opposition fears of indefinite rule by Gnassingbe who succeeded his father General Gnassingbe Eyadema. He had seized power in a coup more than 50 years ago.

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