Togo president agrees to elections

[JURIST] Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe [BBC profile] announced Friday that he will be holding elections as required by the original Togolese constitution. Faure had been placed in power by Togo's military and had had the constitution changed [JURIST report] to allow him to serve out his father's remaining presidential term. Regional African organizations nonetheless exerted strong amounts of pressure on Faure and the Togolese government [official website in French] to return to the original constitution, even threatening sanctions against the West African nation. Faure announced his intention to hold elections Friday evening, just hours after he ordered the lifting of a ban on public protests that had been in place since he took power two weeks ago. He said that he had "decided in the higher interests of the nation to continue the process of transition in line with the constitution", and promised elections within the next 60 days, although he would remain in the position of president until elections were held. Responding to Faure's comments Saturday, ECOWAS [official website] Executive-Secretary Mohamed ibn Chambas said that the regional organization viewed this as only a partial concession. Chambas indicated that sanctions were still a likely event unless Faure returned the original National Assembly Speaker to the interim president post, as required by the original consitution. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage [JURIST Country archive] of Togo. Reuters has more.



 

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