Togo: Adoption of a new constitution

Togo: Adoption of a new constitution

Togolese deputies adopted on Monday evening a new Constitution changing the current presidential system into a parliamentary system, now giving the power to Parliament to elect the President of the Republic.

The president will now be chosen “without debate” by Parliament meeting in congress “for a single mandate of six years”, according to the new text read in the National Assembly and validated with 89 votes for, one against and one abstention. It is not known at this stage when the text will come into force.

Until then, the mandate of the directly elected Togolese president was 5 years, renewable once.

The change in the Constitution, proposed by a group of deputies mainly from the Union for the Republic (UNIR, in power), was adopted almost unanimously since the opposition, which had boycotted the last legislative election in 2018 and denounced “irregularities” in the electoral census, is very weakly represented in the National Assembly.

This new constitution also introduces a position of “President of the Council of Ministers” with “full authority and power to manage the affairs of government and to be held accountable, accordingly”.

The President of the Council of Ministers is “the leader of the party or the leader of the majority coalition of parties following the legislative elections. He is appointed for a mandate of 6 years,” according to the text.

“The head of state is practically divested of his powers in favor of the president of the Council of Ministers, who becomes the one who represents the Togolese Republic externally, who effectively directs the country in daily management,” indicated Tchitchao Tchalim, president of the committee on constitutional laws, legislation and general administration at the National Assembly.

This new text must mark the entry of Togo into its Fifth Republic, the last major constitutional change dating back to 1992. It comes less than a month before the next legislative elections, which must be held on April 20 at the same time as the elections. regional meetings, in which the opposition has announced its participation.

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