Togo’s Gnassingbe to extend rule through council presidency

Togo’s political landscape is poised for a significant shift as President Faure Gnassingbe prepares to assume a pivotal position within the government, enabling him to extend his nearly two-decade-long tenure.

A minister disclosed on Monday night that President Gnassingbe is slated to become the president of the council of ministers, a role newly established by the country’s latest constitution.

The introduction of the new charter in March ushered in a parliamentary system of governance, introducing the president of the council of ministers with substantial authority to oversee the administration of Togo.

Civil service minister Gilbert Bawara announced on national television that Gnassingbe’s ruling party, UNIR, has nominated him as their candidate for this influential position.

Gnassingbe’s UNIR party recently secured a majority of seats in a contentious legislative election held earlier this month.

Minister Bawara clarified that according to the constitution, the appointment of the president of the council is virtually automatic, as it mandates the appointment of the leader of the majority political party or coalition in the national assembly.

Togo has a history of resistance against the extended rule of the Gnassingbe family. Faure Gnassingbe assumed office in 2005, succeeding his father, Gnassingbe Eyadema, who seized power in a coup in 1967.

In 2019, a constitutional amendment paved the way for Gnassingbe to potentially remain in power until 2030. Despite facing disputes, Gnassingbe won a controversial election in 2020, with expectations of holding a presidential election the following year, potentially marking his final term in office.

The creation of the president of the council of ministers role offers Gnassingbe the opportunity to maintain his leadership beyond traditional term limits.

Meanwhile, under the new constitutional provisions, the largely symbolic position of president carries a four-year term, renewable once.

As Togo braces for these political changes, the nation anticipates the implications of Gnassingbe’s extended tenure and the evolving dynamics within its governance structure.

Scroll to Top