Togo’s constitutional crisis: calls grow for international community to speak out

The Network of Coordination of the Independent Togolese Diaspora (RCDTI) and the Collective for Truth of the Ballot Boxes – Togo – Diaspora (CVU-TOGO-DIASPORA) have issued a stark warning on Saturday regarding what they term a “constitutional coup d’état” in Togo, initiated by the ruling party.

Since the legislative and regional elections on April 29, 2024, to the controversial constitutional revision on May 23, 2024, the organizations accuse the Togolese government of falsifying popular will and engaging in systematic repression.

In a statement published on Saturday 15th June 2024, the RCDTI and CVU-TOGO-DIASPORA criticize the international community’s inaction and the ambiguous role of ECOWAS.

Electoral and Constitutional Injustice

The statement highlights the dual nature of this coup d’état. Firstly, the April 29, 2024 elections were marred by “massive fraud.” Visual evidence gathered through technology shows “ballot box stuffing caught on camera in broad daylight,” a practice the statement describes as “the hallmark” of the Gnassingbé regime.

Secondly, the unilateral constitutional change, promulgated on May 6, 2024, without popular consultation, transformed Togo into a parliamentary regime where the Prime Minister, automatically Faure Gnassingbé, is now vested with near-absolute power without universal suffrage. The organizations underline that this process was “completely opaque from start to finish” and did not adhere to any established legal procedures.

International Community’s Silence

The most severe accusations are directed towards the international community, particularly ECOWAS, accused of “legitimizing the illegal electoral process” by sending observers who failed to denounce the frauds. The statement expresses disappointment at what they perceive as passive complicity in the current regime’s usurpation of power.

The organisations specified: “It is no longer surprising that ECOWAS, biased in its analyses and support, remained silent in the face of this constitutional manipulation.”

Call to Action and Consciousness

Confronting what they see as total disregard for the Togolese people, RCDTI and CVU-TOGO-DIASPORA call for heightened awareness and concrete actions. They urge Togolese citizens and the diaspora not to accept the status quo and to continue fighting for ballot box truth and Togo’s liberation.

They conclude by affirming that the struggle cannot be abandoned: “No one can accept the status quo, much less abandon the struggle for the liberation of the Togolese People.”

The statement also calls for alternative solutions and invites discussion on ways to exit the current crisis without Faure Gnassingbé. RCDTI and CVU-TOGO-DIASPORA seek to open a dialogue on Togo’s future and encourage participation from all dissenting voices.

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