Protesters in Togo are calling for the end of the “Gnassingbé dynasty”

Thousands of people on Wednesday 6th September, 2017 marched through the streets of Lome, the Capital of Togo to demand for an end to President Faure Gnassingbé’s tenure as president.

The large turnout of protesters was unprecedented inspite of the government restricting access to the internet and social media platforms in the country.

According to Amnesty International it was estimated that close to 100,000 people marched in Lome with many of them wearing the red, orange and pink colours of opposition parties as they chanted “Free Togo”.

The protests were organised by a coalition of opposition parties and civil society organisations to seek an end to the strangehold of the “Gnassingbé dynasty” on Togo politics.

Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé Eyadéma took over as the President of Togo in 2005 with support of the army after the death of his father, President Gnassingbé Eyadéma. Doubts regarding the constitutional legitimacy of the succession led to heavy regional pressure being placed on Gnassingbé, and he subsequently resigned on 25 February.

He then won a controversial presidential election on 24 April 2005, and was sworn in as President.

Gnassingbé was re-elected for a second term in 2010.

In the April 2015 presidential election, Gnassingbé won a third term, defeating his main challenger, Jean-Pierre Fabre, by a margin of about 59% to 35%, according to official results.

There are indications that the protests for the end of the “Gnassingbé dynasty” will continue today as the protesters say “50 years is too long”.