Bishops oppose controversial new constitution in Togo


The Conference of Bishops in Togo (CET) has voiced vehement opposition to the recent adoption of a contentious constitutional revision by the Togolese National Assembly. This revision, which transitions the nation into the Fifth Republic, shifting from a semi-presidential to a parliamentary system, makes president Faure Gnassingbé eligible for potential two additional 6-year terms.

In a virtual conference, the bishops deliberated the ramifications of this decision on the country’s socio-political landscape. They have formally requested an audience with the head of State to convey their apprehensions regarding the constitutional amendment.

Questioning the necessity and timing of the revision, given the expiry of the National Assembly’s mandate, the bishops lament the absence of broad consultation and inclusive national discourse preceding the adoption of the new constitution.

“It is important to elucidate to the populace, beyond their representatives in the National Assembly, the rationale behind such an amendment. What enhancements does it offer to our collective advancement and socio-political milieu?” their statement reads.

Emphasizing the imperative of transparency and open dialogue in effecting significant alterations to the nation’s political framework, the CET expresses “great astonishment” at the swift ratification of the constitutional amendment, underscoring the necessity for a more exhaustive and deliberate discourse on this issue.

As Togo braces for forthcoming elections, the bishops urge Faure Gnassingbé, who is expected by his party members to approve the new constitution, to reconsider its enactment and engage in substantive discussions with all stakeholders to ensure a more inclusive and transparent democratic process in the nation.

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