Wednesday, September 6, 2017

"Leave the seat" - Togo protesters tell President Gnassingbe despite move to reduce term limits (VIDEO)

Thousands took to the streets of Togo’s capital Lome on Wednesday telling President Faure Gnassingbe to "Leave, leave. Leave the seat. The seat is not yours” despite the government's attempt to appease protestors with new legislation that would limit presidential terms.

Togo's cabinet has adopted a draft bill to modify the constitution and reintroduce presidential term limits, the government said in a statement on Wednesday.

President Gnassingbe has ruled since his father died in 2005 after 38 years in power. The latter, Gnassingbe Eyadema, passed a law in 1992 limiting the president to two mandates but scrapped it ten years later.

"This bill to modify the constitution concerns specifically the limitations of mandates and voting procedures," said the government statement, referring to article 59 of the constitution.

Minister Gilbert Bawara told a pro-government website on Wednesday that the draft bill was intended to limit presidential terms to two five-year mandates. Opposition leaders could not immediately be reached for comment on the draft bill.

Thousands of people wearing the red, orange and pink colours of opposition parties marched in the streets of Lome on Wednesday carrying banners saying "Free Togo" and "Faure resign”.

They chanted "Leave, leave, leave. Leave the seat. The seat is not yours." 

Protesters in Agoe, stronghold of opposition leader Chadam were dispersed with tear gas.

7 protesters were killed in clashes with security forces in similar anti-government protests last month.

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