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The change in our constitution undermines the peace we have in Togo – Togolese MTR Leader

By Beyonce Diamond Kpogli II Contributor
Social News The change in our constitution undermines the peace we have in Togo – Togolese MTR Leader
THU, 13 JUN 2024 LISTEN

Dr. Jean-Emmanuel Gnagnon, the leader and presidential candidate of the Togolese Movement for Restoration (MTR), is calling on African leaders to intervene in Togo's ongoing political crisis, saying the change in their constitution is a threat to the peace in Togo.

During a press briefing in Accra, Dr. Gnagnon criticized ECOWAS for its failure to address the issues facing its member states, including Togo, describing the organization as weak and ineffective.

"Togo is also in ECOWAS as a member, but you can also understand that for many years, ECOWAS is facing a big challenge of responding to the real problems that its member states are facing or are passing through. We see that since then, ECOWAS is like a weak institution and they are not providing viable solutions to the member states. And that is why we don't know, but for the moment we don't see that ECOWAS can do something for us because Togo has passed through, unfortunately, not-so-good experiences with ECOWAS during the last crisis," Dr. Gnagnon stated.

Emphasizing the importance of peace and democracy, Dr. Gnagnon declared that the Togolese people deserve peace and urged direct support from international stakeholders.

"Peace is very important to us. We can see that ECOWAS will have a good interest in the Togo matter right now. But what we think now is to go straight to people, to the stakeholders, to discuss with those who can help Togo, those who can help people to find a solution to our crisis," he added.

Dr. Gnagnon, along with the party's vice president, Advocate Brice Afatsawo-Kpotor, is in Ghana to rally support against the recent constitutional changes in Togo, which they believe undermine democracy. These changes, adopted by a vote of 87-0, eliminated the citizens’ right to vote directly for the president, granting parliament the power to elect the president and establishing a new executive role of President of the Council of Ministers.

The President of the Council of Ministers, elected by the National Assembly, will effectively act as a prime minister overseeing the government's day-to-day operations. This individual will come from the party with the most seats in the legislature or lead a coalition if there is no single-party majority.

The term of office will be six years, renewable indefinitely as long as the ruling power retains a majority. This change removes the previous limit of two five-year presidential terms, a key provision in the 2019 Constitution adopted after widespread popular protests. The new Constitution retains a figurehead President subject to a four-year mandate renewable once.

During a visit to the Kwame Nkrumah Museum in Accra, Dr. Gnagnon expressed his disapproval of the new legislation, emphasizing that the MTR is committed to promoting peace, socialism, and progress in Africa and is determined to challenge this undemocratic move.

Dr. Gnagnon plans to meet with key stakeholders in Ghana, including the National Chief Imam, the Christian Council, and the National Peace Council, to garner support for the Togolese people's cause. He believes that international pressure can help reverse the constitutional changes and ensure a democratic and inclusive political process in Togo.

By seeking support from Ghana and other international partners, Dr. Gnagnon and the MTR aim to build a strong coalition to challenge the undemocratic forces in Togo and ensure a brighter future for the Togolese people.

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Started: 02-07-2024 | Ends: 31-10-2024

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