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President Faure Gnassingbé, who has been in office for 15 years, is set to extend his rule at the forthcoming election/Photo: FGT

Togo’s president to seek another term in office

Togo’s ruling party UNIR has chosen incumbent President Faure Gnassingbé as its candidate for the country’s next month’s presidential election  making it likely that his family’s decades-long rule will be extended.

He was voted into power in a disputed election in 2005 – taking over from his late father Gnassingbé Eyadéma, who had been president for 38 years.

A law was passed last year limiting the presidential mandate to two five-year terms but does not apply retrospectively, meaning Gnassingbé can stand for the next two elections, in 2020 and 2025, despite having already served three terms since succeeding his late father 14 years ago.

In recent years there has been growing anger over the family’s complete domination of the political scene.

Opponents of the president, whose father seized power in a 1967 coup, have sought term limits and other constitutional reforms since then.

Eighteen months of mass protests hurt the economy and led to negotiations with the opposition in 2018.

The main opposition party, National Alliance for Change, has also chosen Jean Pierre Fabre as its candidate for the election which will take place on 22 February.

Analysts, however, do not expect any upset as the ruling party is so entrenched that it’s very unlikely that it can be defeated by the opposition.

Adira Kallo

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