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Special Reports

Political Transition and Power Transformation in Togo: Will Faure Gnassingbe Relinquish Power in 201

This special report examines the Faure Gnassingbe regime in Togo in order to determine the regime's likelihood to hand over power to a successor regime in 2015. Although the Togolese Constitution stipulates a maximum of two presidential terms of five years each, there is increasing doubt that President Faure Gnassingbe will relinquish power, instead manipulating the political system to seek an unconstitutional third term. There are precedents for this skepticism. In 2005 when he took over power, it was in contravention of the constitution, which stipulated the order and process to replace a dead president. When President Gnassingbe Eyadema, his father, died suddenly in office, the head of the Togolese parliament was the constitutional choice to replace him. But using the army, which had always been loyal to the Eyadema clan, Faure Gnassingbe was imposed as president. Although a firestorm of local and international opposition forced him to abdicate the presidency briefly until shoddy elections were conducted, he has managed to retain power for nearly 10 years. In that time, the opposition has become more divided and civil society has become weaker. What is to prevent Faure Gnassingbe from taking another term willy-nilly? This special report answers this question. Read the full report.

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