News / Africa

Togo Opposition Vows More Protests Despite Leader’s Arrest

James Butty
A coalition of opposition parties and civil society groups, known as “Let’s Save Togo,” says it will continue to hold protests against what it calls the Togolese government’s disregard for the rule of law.

The groups have been protesting changes to the country’s electoral law, which they say the government made without consulting with the opposition.

Butty interview with Togolese opposition spokesman
Butty interview with Togolese opposition spokesmani
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

Meanwhile, authorities Tuesday briefly detained former prime minister and leading opposition figure Agbeyome Kodjo in connection with the protests. 

Bode Tchakoura, spokesman for the coalition of opposition parties said Kodjo’s arrest is the latest in connection with the protests.

“Mr. Kodjo was told by the gendarmerie that he’s one those leaders who has signed the letter asking for the demonstration because, according to the gendarmerie, there were damages and the responsibility for those damages rests with the leaders of the demonstration,” he said.

But spokesman Tchakoura said Kodjo should not have been arrested in the first place.

“Mr. Kodjo, as a former prime minister, and also former president of the National Assembly of Togo, should never have been arrested because he’s protected by immunity,” Tchakoura said.

He said the protests will continue until the government reverses the changes it made to the country’s electoral laws, without first consulting with the opposition.

“We are protesting on the overall political atmosphere which is not favorable for election because, before it was very clear to the Togolese government to operate some changes, some amendments to the electoral code together with the opposition parties, and those have not been operated by the Togolese government and they are planning now to organize [a] new election without having operated those changes,” he said.

Tchakoura also said the government’s decision to make changes to the country’s election laws, without the consent of the opposition, contravenes a protocol of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

“There is a protocol of the ECOWAS member countries that states clearly that, six months before elections in any member country, it is not allowed for any country to make changes to the electoral laws without the consent of the opposition parties,” he said.

He said the opposition will not participate in the parliamentary elections slated for later this year unless the government withdraws the changes it unilaterally made to the electoral law.

Togo’s security minister, Col. Gnama Latta, was quoted as saying that 22 policemen were injured when protesters hurled projectiles at them and erected barricades.

But, Tchakoura said the opposition demonstrations have been peaceful.

“This is not the first that we have organized a demonstration, and there had been no damages during our demonstration.  And, we have evidence that there are some people who have been introduced in our demonstration to cause such damages that the government is blaming on us.  We are not responsible for such damages,” he said.

You May Like

Kurdish Party Pushes Political Gamble to Run in Turkey Poll

HDP announces it will run as political party instead of fielding independent candidates in June election, but faces tough 10 percent threshold More

Twitter Targets Islamic State

New research shows suspending Twitter accounts of Islamic State, its supporters has been effective; group, its backers are facing 'significant pressure,' says terrorism expert More

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

Majur Juac made the leap from being a refugee in Africa to a master chess champion in US, where he shares his expertise with students More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: john from: Lome
June 20, 2012 7:17 AM
Foure Gnasingbe only wants toi continue with his father's legacy

In Response

by: Micheal from: London
June 25, 2012 11:19 AM
Yep, Sadly the truth is that the Military dictatorship just wants to continue its rule. Yet opposition parties are just as bad.
Shame all politicians are self serving individuals who only care about helping themselves to the benefits of state ( u see it in Africa, Middleeast, Europe).
Only way Togo is going to move forward is Liberta-Togo.com taking action and removing the dictatorship and corrupt politicians.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures. For now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid