Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe Confirms He Will Run for a Fourth Term
Patrick Kovarik/AFP via Getty Images

Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe Confirms He Will Run for a Fourth Term

Despite protests against his prolonged tenure, President Faure Gnassingbe has confirmed he will run for a fourth term in the upcoming elections.

Yesterday, Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe confirmed that he would be running for a potential fourth term in next month's national elections, according to News24.

With President Gnassingbe's tenure approaching 15 years, a tenure preceded by his own father Gnassingbe Eyadema's near four-decade long rule, it appears the head of state is intent on extending his family's largely unrivalled rule over the small West African country.

Several anti-government protests have been led by the Togolese in the past as part of an effort to force President Gnassingbe to step down from power.

In 2017, as many as 800 000 protesters took part in massive national demonstrations where, at the time, Reuters reported that at least two people were killed and 13 others injured. The likes of Jean-Pierre Fabre, prominent leader of one of the opposition parties, campaigned for the revival of a provision within the constitution which stated that "under no circumstances may anyone serve more than two terms".

However, heavy crackdowns carried out by the ruling Union for the Republic (UNIR) government as well as internal disagreements within opposition parties failed to exert the necessary political pressure required to tip the scales in the people's favor.

Aljazeera reports that in May of last year, Togo's parliament passed an amendment to the country's constitution which subsequently permitted President Gnassingbe to run for president in both 2020 and 2025. While the amendment caps the number of terms for which a democratically-elected president can run at two, it doesn't take into the account any previous terms the incumbent may have already served. As a result, President Gnassingbe who could potentially serve as president until 2030.