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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

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