Togo’s parliament has approved a constitutional change permitting long-standing President Faure Gnassingbe to potentially stay in office until 2030, despite widespread protests calling for the end of his family’s decades-long grip on power.
The amendment caps the presidential mandate to two five-year terms but does not apply retrospectively.
That being said, Gnassingbe can stand for the next two elections, in 2020 and 2025, despite having already served three terms since succeeding his late father 14 years ago.
“The president of the republic is elected by universal suffrage … for a term of five years, renewable once,” the new text of the Constitution read, which also made the presidential election a two-round race.
The amendment was signed off on by all 90 legislators present on Wednesday, May 8, 2019 surpassing the required four-fifths approval by parliament to make such changes.
Another change passed by the National Assembly guaranteed immunity for life to all former presidents, who the new constitutional terms said cannot be “prosecuted, arrested, detained, or tried for acts committed during their presidential term”
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