Togo. According to
Countryaah.com, street protests continued during the year with
demands that President Faure Gnassingbé not be allowed to
re-run and theoretically be able to remain until 2030.
Regional leaders and organizations such as West African
ECOWAS have mediated unsuccessfully. The election was raised
when ECOWAS held a summit in Togo in July. The Election
Commission later determined that the election would be held
on December 20. At least four deaths were required in
protests before the election. The turnout was low 60%.
According to preliminary figures, Gnassingbé's Party of
Collection for the Republic (UNIR) won a majority - 59 out
of 91 seats - in the National Assembly. The party could
count on the support of the Union of Changing Forces (UFC),
one of twelve other parties that ran for office.
The largest opposition coalition, which brings together
14 parties, announced that it would boycott a referendum on
the constitution proclaimed until December 16. They were
also thinking of boycotting the parliamentary elections,
even though they were not allowed to run for office. Twelve
parties and 17 independent candidates got the go-ahead.
In June 2012, there were several days of demonstrations
against an electoral reform the government had adopted in
May. removed the restriction on re-election of the
president. The protesters demanded a return to the 1992
Constitution that contained such a restriction. The
demonstrations were turned down with tear gas and lace soup.
In July, the president replaced Prime Minister Houngbo, who
had surprisingly resigned with former Commerce Minister
The parliamentary elections were originally to be held in
October 2012, then postponed to March 2013, to finally be
held in July. It was won by the ruling UNIR, which got 46.7%
of the vote and 62 of the parliament's 91 seats, while the
opposition gathered in the Union des Forces du Changement
(UFC) had to settle for 27 seats.
While presidential elections were scheduled for the first
quarter of 2015, local elections remained uncertain. The
last was held in 1986.
Gnassingbé was re-elected with 58.75% of the vote for a
third term as president in the April 2015 election. His
counterpart Jean-Pierre Fabre received 35.21%. Fabre
insisted for some days that it was him who had won the
election, but a week after the election, the Constitutional
Court affirmed Gnassingbé's election victory.
Security forces continued the tradition of using
excessive violence against protesters. In a demonstration
against the establishment of a new nature reserve in Mango
in northern Togo in November 2015, security forces shot the
protesters, killed 7 (including pregnant women and children)
and injured 117. Similar demonstrations around the country
during the year were also answered with sharp ammunition. No
members of the security forces were brought to justice.
Independent media and websites were shut down by
authorities during the year for the dissemination of "false
information". A French national was sentenced to 2 years
suspended prison for the same offense and expelled from the
In August 2016, police attacked and wounded 10 protesters
in Abobo-Zéglé. The protesters objected to being removed
from their land where the government would establish
phosphate extraction, declaring that they had not been
adequately compensated for the expropriation. They were
attacked by police with tear gas and lace.
From August 2017, the demonstrations around Togo grew
with demands for the departure of President Gnassingbé. In
the following months, over 10 protesters were killed and
hundreds injured. The government responded on several
occasions by interrupting the Internet, thereby breaking the
opposition's ability to communicate and coordinate. In
October, Gambia's foreign minister called on Gnassingbé to
resign, but then hastened to change it to Togo's people to
decide the fate of the president. The Gnassingbé family has
controlled the country for 50 years.