Togo’s parliament has amended their constitution to allow the current President, Faure Gnassingbe, remain in power until 2030. Gnassingbe’s family has ruled the small West African country with a population of about 8 million, since 1967.
All the 90 lawmakers in Togo, except one who was absent, unanimously approved the amendment of the constitution on late Wednesday.
The new constitutional change will now allow president Gnassingbe to run two more terms – in 2020 and 2025, and he will most likely win, and remain in power until 2030.
Constitutional changes in Togo are adopted if four-fifths of the lawmakers – 73 or more — vote for it.
“The President of the Republic is elected by universal suffrage… for a term of five years, renewable once,” the new text of the constitution read.
Faure Gnassingbe succeeded his father, General Gnassingbe Eyadema who seized power in a military coup more than 50 years ago and ruled with an iron fist till his death in 2005.
Togo’s opposition party, which boycotted elections last year, opposed the constitutional change calling on Gnassingbe to step down.
With this new development, Togo has now joined many African nations who suddenly changed their constitutions to extend presidential terms.