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Dissatisfaction forces review of constitutional amendments in Togo

Lomé, Apr 1 (Prensa Latina) The adverse reaction to the recently approved amendments to the Constitution by the parliament last week forced to announce the return of the project to the Legislative in Togo.

The discontent of the population, political circles and religious and civil society personalities point to the reform of the presidential election and the creation of the position of president of the Council of Ministers that the opponents of the project qualify as a maneuver to perpetuate in power the current president, Faure Gnassingbé.

According to the new system, the election of the president will be in the hands of parliament.

The reversal of the amendments, which were to be signed by the president, was explained in a statement from the presidential office which appeared in the morning editions of the press due to “the interest created by the adoption of the project (…) and the perfectible nature of the law”.

Another amendment to the Constitution includes the limit to one of the terms of office of the head of State.

However, the return of the bill to parliament in no way implies that it will be withdrawn, the official text clarifies.

Among the opponents of the reforms in their current form is the Catholic Bishops’ Conference whose members said in a statement that “such an important issue (…) must give way to broad consultations and a more inclusive national debate”.

The clash between the sponsors of the amendments and the political and social media raises the Togolese political temperature, high due to the proximity of the general elections scheduled for next 20th in which President Gnassingbé aspires to a new mandate.