5 October 2017

Togo: Day of Anger Protesters Demand Constitutional Reforms

Photo: Télégramme 228
Opposition parties in Togo demand Constitutional reform.

Thousands of opposition supporters took to the streets on Wednesday calling for constitutional reforms. People gathered in several locations around the capital Lomé as well as other provinces around the country after weeks of mobilization. In response, ruling party supporters also took to the streets to support President Faure Gnassingbé. Other demonstrations are planned this Thursday, according to Deutsche Welle.

"Avoiding violence"

The call for demonstrations was made by 14 opposition parties who say a return to the 1992 constitution is non-negotiable. Rosine, a ruling party parliamentarian thinks the opposition has the right to demonstrate, but says this must be done legally. She says the opposition members have been in parliament for the past five years and should be preparing for new elections instead of calling for people to go out onto the streets every day. Like others, she calls the opposition camp to exercise restraint and to avoid violence.

Organizers say the demonstrations on  Wednesday was a final warning. Another march, known as "anger protest", is scheduled for Thursday throughout the country. The opposition also denounces the repression of the August and September demonstrations that left at least four dead and dozens wounded in the north of the country.

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