Togo Parliament Adopts Proposal to Limit Presidential Terms

Faure Gnassingbe

Photographer: Christof Stache/AFP via Getty Images

Togo’s parliament adopted disputed draft legislation to curb the number of presidential terms and change the voting system, paving the way for a national referendum.

While the 62 deputies of the ruling party UNIR approved the proposal on Tuesday, the opposition boycotted the session because it seeks a wider set of changes. The proposal will have to be submitted to a referendum before it can take effect. A coalition of opposition parties plans to hold protests from Wednesday to demand the reinstatement of the 1992 constitution, which was changed in 2002 to scrap term limits.

The draft legislation, which stipulates that a president can rule no longer than two five-year terms, isn’t retroactive and would enable President Faure Gnassingbe to run in elections and remain in office. Gnassingbe assumed power in 2005 following a vote in which between 400 and 500 people were killed by state security forces and militia groups, according to the United Nations. He was preceded by his father Eyadema Gnassingbe, who ruled the West African nation since a 1967 coup.

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