Togo Cancels International Conference Amid Anti-government Protests
The Togolese government has cancelled the Francophonie ministerial conference scheduled to be held in the capital Lome in November.
The cancellation comes amid opposition protests against President Faure Gnassingbe’s rule and the call for the reinstatement of the 1992 constitution.
The government announced the cancellation on Monday without stating the reason.
This follows the call by the opposition for another series of demonstrations on November 7, 8 and 9 – which are weekdays – despite the ban on weekday protests.
There were violent clashes last week after the arrest of an Imam in the northern city of Sokode. Public buildings were torched and the tension spread to other cities including Tchamba, Bafilo, Kpalimé, Agoényne and the capital Lome.
The Togolese opposition are also calling for a two five-year term limit for presidents as well as a two-round voting system.
A bill was tabled before parliament by the cabinet during the early September round of demonstrations to reinstate the term limits which were struck out by the father of Faure Gnassingbe before his death.
The opposition rejected the draft bill to modify Article 59 of the constitution which has maintained the exclusion of the clause that says “no one can serve more than two terms”.
They believe it is a ploy to allow Faure, who is serving his third term, to attempt a fourth in 2020.
Togo hosts the West African regional office of the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF).