Togo delays vote as Gnassingbé seeks third term


Guest post by Kevin Buettner

Even in the neglected word of African electoral politics, Togo isn’t necessarily a top story, especially coming so shortly after the blockbuster Nigerian election.togo

But  less than three weeks before Togo was scheduled to head to the polls to determine their next president, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) successfully petitioned the Togolese government to revise its voter registration lists. The subsequent delay stems from allegations by opposition parties that thousands of voter lists contained the names of citizens who were registered twice — and most of the names were considered persons loyal to the incumbent president Faure Gnassingbé.

This is not the first time the opposition has raised concerns relating to the upcoming elections. In late 2014, a coalition aptly named ‘Let’s Save Togo’ led street protests to highlight the unpopularity of the 2002 decision to suspend presidential term limits, which now allows Gnassingbé to run for a third term as Togo’s president. Thirteen years ago, however, the decision facilitated what would become the 38-year rule of Gnassingbé’s father, Gnassingbé Eyadéma, a polarizing political figure in his own right. Continue reading Togo delays vote as Gnassingbé seeks third term