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

N. Korea Sentences American to 6 Years Hard Labor

Matthew Miller's brief trial Sunday comes two weeks after 24-year old Miller and two other American detainees appealed to the US government to help free them More

Pakistan Rejects Afghan Criticism of 480-kilometer Border Trench

Military spokesman tells VOA the project is part of administrative and security measures taken to secure the mountainous border with Afghanistan More

Photogallery Typhoon Kalmaegi Makes Landfall in Philippines

Storm makes landfall late Sunday, cutting power and communications lines and forcing people to flee to higher ground 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.
Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interesti
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 12, 2014 8:35 PM
The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video Palestinians Turn to Rebuilding Gaza

After almost two months of conflict in Gaza, Palestinians are preparing to rebuild the isolated Mediterranean enclave with assistance from abroad. Meanwhile, an international human rights group has found that Israel likely violated international laws of war during some of its attacks on Gaza. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Middle Eastern Church Leaders Highlight Christians’ Plight

Patriarchs of Eastern Rite churches came to Washington this week to draw attention to the attacks against Christians in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. VOA’s religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid