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.
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.
Administratively, 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.