Thursday, February 26, 2015

Togo: President seeks 3rd term in April 15 election

Togo's President Faure Gnassingbé has accepted his party's nomination as a candidate for elections in April and will seek a third term in power, a member of his party said on Wednesday, quoting the president.

The opposition has repeatedly organised protests across the capital calling for Gnassingbé to stand aside at the end of his second term.

"It is through duty to our dear country and loyalty to our ideals that I have the honour to accept to be a presidential candidate for our party UNIR. I accept this nomination with great humility," Gnassingbé said following a party convention on Wednesday.

Gnassingbé was installed as president of the small West African country with army support when his father, who had been in power 38 years, died in 2005. He later stepped down under regional pressure, but won an election months later and was re-elected for a second term in 2010.

Unlike some of its neighbours, Togo does not have constitutional term limits, having abolished them in 2002.

But the opposition has drawn hope from events in neighbouring Burkina Faso where mass protests in October drove out longtime President Blaise Compaoré as he sought to revise the constitution in order to seek another term in office.

The United States has repeatedly urged African leaders to add term limits to their constitutions and respect those limits if they already exist.


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