Lomé (Agenzia Fides) - “The situation is still worrying in a Lomé. Since my return to Togo on 23 August tension is high with Opposition protests” Fides was told by Rev Donald Charif-Dine Fadaz, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) in Togo. On 6 and 7 September some 100,000 people took to the streets in the, Lomé, calling for a change of government. Since 2005 the country has been governed by Faure Gnassingbé Eyadéma, son of general Gnassingbé Eyadéma who had led the country for 38 years until his death in February 2005 (see Fides 8/2/2005). Faure took power in contested elections (see Fides 4/5/2005). Both the Opposition and civil society have called for constitutional reforms to limit the number of presidential mandates.
Pressured by popular protests the government last week presented a bill to limit presidential mandates to two.
“The government presented to the National Assembly (parliament) a plan of reform to meet the requests from the social society. An agreement was possible pending no intransigence from either of the sides” Rev . Donald told Fides
However on 14 September the Opposition walked out of parliament because discussion on the reforms proposed by the government had been postponed to a later date. “No one knows what will happen next. Tension still high regarding planned Opposition protests 20 and 21 September ” concludes Rev. Charif-Dine Fadaz
In their Easter message (see Fides 4/5/2017) the Bishops of Togo warned of “serious civil society frustration, a time-bomb ready to explode any minute”. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 15/9/2017)