Togo Opposition, Government Begin Talks to Resolve Crisis

Representatives of Togo’s government and the opposition began talks on Monday to resolve a months-long political crisis triggered by proposed constitutional changes that have mobilized months of mass protests against President Faure Gnassingbe

The negotiations should last 10 days and will focus on issues including the reinstatement of the 1992 constitution and the organization of a national referendum, Ghanaian Security Minister Albert Kan-Dapaah, who serves as mediator, told reporters in the capital, Lome, on Monday. Seven members of the opposition and seven government officials will lead the talks.

Faure Gnassingbe

Photographer: Simon Maina/AFP via Getty Images

The West African nation’s parliament adopted draft legislation last year to limit the number of presidential terms to two and change the voting system. The opposition rejects the proposal because the changes to the constitution aren’t retroactive and would enable Gnassingbe to extend his rule by at least 10 years. Instead, it wants the 1992 constitution reinstated. Scores of people have died since protests began about six months ago.

Togo has been governed by Gnassingbe since the 2005 death of his father Gnassingbe Eyadema, who seized power in a 1967 coup.

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