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08 Jan 2020 | 08:04 AM UTC

Togo: President confirms candidacy for fourth term January 7 /update 1

President confirmed candidacy for presidential elections January 7; anti-government protests likely in the lead up to the elections

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TGO

Event

On Tuesday, January 7, President Faure Gnassingbe confirmed his candidacy for a fourth term in office ahead of the Saturday, February 22 presidential elections. The announcement may trigger calls for anti-government protests as witnessed in past years. Heightened security measures and localized transportation disruptions are expected around any demonstration site. Clashes between protesters and police forces cannot be ruled out.

Political rallies and protests are anticipated in the lead up to the elections and following the result of the election.

Context

President Faure Gnassingbé has led Togo since 2005 taking over after the death of his father Gnassingbe Eyadema who led the country for 38 years. In May 2019, parliament approved a constitutional amendment capping the presidential mandate to two five-year terms, allowing President Gnassingbé to potentially stay in office until 2030. Thousands of people have taken to the streets to demand that President Gnassingbé step down. Over a dozen people have been killed in opposition protests ongoing since mid-August 2017.

Should presidential candidates fail to obtain a majority greater than 51 percent, a second round of presidential elections will be organized. Polling stations are due to open nationwide from 07:00 to 16:00 (local time) on February 22.

Advice

Individuals in Togo are advised to monitor developments, avoid all political rallies and demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.