The Togo Constitution of 1992 provides that the country is a republic with multi-party systems. There are about 100 political parties in the country, but the ruling Union of the Republic (Unir) completely dominates. The President’s powers are extensive. The country has had only two presidents since 1967: the one-term Gnassingbé Eyadéma, who at his death in 2005 was succeeded by his son Faure Gnassingbé.
The president is the head of state and has the executive power. They nominate the country’s prime minister, who in turn appoints other members of government in consultation with the president. The president is elected in direct elections for a five-year term. After a constitutional change in May 2019, the president can only be re-elected once. In the past, they could be re-elected an unlimited number of times.
- Countryaah: Total population and chart of Togo for years of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024. Also covers population density, birth rate, death rate and population growth rates.
Constitutional changes from 2002 mean, among other things, that a presidential candidate is not allowed to have more citizenship than the Togolese. In addition, the minimum age limit for a president was lowered from 45 years to 35 years.
The legislative body is the National Assembly, whose 91 members, after a constitutional change in May 2019, are elected every six years. Previously, the term of office was five years. Since 2019, members can sit for two periods instead of being previously re-elected for an unlimited number of times.
Short for TG by Abbreviationfinder, Togo is divided into five regions, which in turn are divided into 30 prefectures (prefectures). In December 2018, the National Assembly made a decision to establish 117 municipalities. In June 2019, local elections were held for the first time since 1987.
President Gnassingbé Eyadéma’s time in power was characterized by repression, fierce control of the opposition and widespread electoral fraud. By appointing relatives and other members of their group of cabrels into important posts, Eyadéma secured control of the army, police forces and administration. The military, the cabaret people and the Togolese People’s Party (Rassemblement du peuple togolais, RPT) were Eyadéma’s most important power bases. The support of the military, which is dominated by cabrine, was particularly important. Cabré is mainly found in northern Togo.
At the turn of power in 2005, Faure Gnassingbé inherited his father’s power apparatus. In 2012, however, he dissolved the RPT and replaced it with the Union for the Republic (Union pour la Republique, Unir). Unir has sought to broaden its voter base and increase its support in the southern parts of the country. However, the party has continued to dominate the state apparatus. The prevailing electoral system and the division into constituencies favor Unir in many ways. The Government Party has resisted attempts to change the constitution and make the system more fair.
Many within the opposition come from well-educated circles in southern Togo, especially from the ewe group around the capital Lomé. In the 2010s, the ethnic divide became progressively less clear, and in recent elections, residents have not voted on ethnic origin to the same extent as before. However, the opposition is strongly divided, which benefits Unir.
The Union of Forces of Change ( UFC) was formed in 1992 by Gilchrist Olympio, son of Togo’s first President Sylvanus Olympio (see Modern History). The UFC was initially an opposition party with a voter base in the south. When Olympio, after the 2010 presidential election, formed a unity government with Gnassingbé, many people in the UFC saw him as a traitor. A breaker faction then formed the National Alliance for Change ( ANC) under the leadership of Jean-Pierre Fabré. The UFC has continued to cooperate with Unir but after the 2018 election is not included in the government. The ANC fell out of parliament in the 2018 elections.
In addition to Unir and the UFC, four small parties, which are at least on paper, were given seats in Parliament in the 2018 elections: New commitment for Togo (approximately, Nouvel Engagement Togolais, NET), the Patriotic Movement for Democracy and Development (Mouvement Patriotique pour la Démocratie et le Development, MPDD), the Center Republican Movement (Mouvement des Republicans Centristes, MRC) and the Pan-African Democratic Party (Parti Démocratique Panafricain, PDP).
The president’s party wins elections
After being postponed several times, the last parliamentary elections are held, in which all leading opposition parties participate. Gnassingbe’s party RPT wins with 50 seats, leading to protests from parts of the opposition. However, international observers approve the choice.