Contrary to the Constitution, Faure
Gnassingbé assumed power in Togo when his dictatorial
father Etienne (Gnassingbé) Eyadéma passed away in 2005.
The father had ruled the country for 38 years. President
Gnassingbé has since been re-elected three times: 2010,
2015 and 2020. International observers have generally
approved the elections, while the opposition claims that
widespread cheating has taken place. A reform process
that Gnassingbé tried to put in place has stalled.
In the April 2015 presidential election, Gnassingbé,
as before, was running for the Union of the Republic (Unir).
Opposition leader Jean-Pierre Fabré was running for a
newly formed party alliance called Fight for a Political
Alternative 2015 (CAP 2015). Gnassingbé won the election
with almost 59 percent of the vote while Fabré got 35
percent. Thus, Gnassingbé could begin a third five-year
term as president.
Country facts and history of Togo, including state flag, location map, demographics, GDP data, currency code, and business statistics.
Gnassingbee's long hold of power in the fall of 2017
triggered large demonstrations against the government
throughout the country, even in the north where the
government usually has support. The protests took off
after several people were shot dead at a demonstration
in the city of Sokodé in August.
In order to curb the protests, the government
presented a proposal to amend the constitution so that
the president can only be re-elected once instead of an
unlimited number of times. However, the proposal was not
enough to calm the opposition as the amendments would
not apply retroactively. This would mean that Gnassingbé
could be elected president at the 2020 elections and
then be re-elected in 2025. The protests continued
throughout the fall, with several deaths as a result.
In February 2018, the government invited the
opposition to a dialogue to resolve the political
crisis, but the dialogue quickly stalled without the
parties approaching each other. The talks resumed in
June and in September parliamentary elections were
announced until December of the same year.
In November, however, the opposition announced that
it would boycott the election, since none of the
opposition parties had their ballots approved. Protests
against the government continued, with at least six dead
as a result and despite the government introducing a
The assessments in the world and among Togolese about
Gnassingbé's attempt to start a dialogue with the
opposition on political developments differ. Some
believe that the regime really wants to bring about
democratic development and that the country is heading
in the right direction. Others claim that Gnassingbé's
only goal is to retain power and that the reform efforts
are a facade.
The parliamentary elections in December 2018 were
conducted under calm conditions and with a major
security challenge in the cities. Governing Unir won an
easy victory but, despite the opposition boycott, did
not succeed in strengthening his position in parliament
but on the contrary went slightly backwards.
After the parliamentary elections, the opposition was
weakened by internal divisions and fewer people
participated in the protest demonstrations. In May 2019,
the UN-dominated Parliament adopted the government's
proposed constitutional amendments to impose, among
other things, a restriction on how long a person can be
president (see Political system).
Gnassingbé is re-elected
In December 2019, the government announced that
presidential elections would be held in February 2020.
The opposition wanted, among other things, the
Constitutional Court and the electoral authority to be
reformed before the presidential election was conducted,
but this was not heard by the government.
The electoral movement was described as tense but
calm. A large security offering had been placed in areas
where the regime-critical protests were most intense
during 2017 and 2018. Nightly curfews prevailed. About
50 people were arrested, suspected of planning an armed
In his election campaign, Gnassingbé pledged to cure
high youth unemployment by creating half a million new
jobs by 2022. He also promised stability and security in
Togo, where many residents fear that violence from
Islamist groups in neighboring Burkina Faso will spread
across the border. in the country. The President also
promised electricity to the entire population by 2030.
In the election, Gnassingbé was challenged by six
opposing candidates. Among them were Jean-Pierre Fabré,
leader of the opposition party National Alliance for
Change (ANC), and Kodjo Agbeyome, former prime minister
under Gnassingbé's father, from the Patriotic Movement
for Democracy and Development (MPDD). During the
electoral movement, Kodjo emerged more and more clearly
as Gnassingbé's main challenger and Fabré eventually
went out and urged his supporters to vote for Kodjo.
Three hundred international election observers,
mainly from AU and Ecowas, monitored the election. After
the polling stations were closed, Kodjo's residence in
Lomé was surrounded by security forces for several
hours. According to the authorities, this was done for
Kodjo's "sake of safety".
President Gnassingbé won the election with 71 percent
of the vote against 19 percent for Kodjo. Just before
the election results were announced, Kodjo declared
itself to be the country's "democratically elected
president" with between 57 percent and 61 percent of the
vote. He promised his constituents to form his own
government in the next few days. Kodjo accused the
government of engaging in gross electoral fraud, such as
fake ballots and fake polling stations. However, the
Constitutional Court rejected Kodjo's appeal of the
Read more about the events in the Calendar.
FACTS - POLITICS
Republic of Togolaise / Republic of Togo
republic, unitary state
Head of State
President Faure Gnassingbé (2005–)
Head of government
Prime Minister Komi Selom Klassou (2015–)
Most important parties with mandates in the
Union of the Republic (Unir) 59, Union of Change (UFC)
7, Small Parties 7, Independent Candidates 18 (2018)
Main parties with mandates in the second most
Union of Republic (Unir) 62, Collective Rescue of
Togo (CST) 19, Rainbow Alliance (AAC) 6, Union of
Changing Forces (UFC) 3, Independent candidate 1 (2013)
59% in the 2018 parliamentary elections, 76% in the
2020 presidential elections
parliamentary elections 2023, presidential elections