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WADEMOS Condemns Timing of Recent ‘Constitutional Reforms’ by Togolese Parliament; Calls for the Strengthening of Democratic Practices in the Country

The West Africa Democracy Solidarity Network (WADEMOS), a network of pro-democracy national and transnational civil society organizations operating in the West African region, is concerned by the recent adoption by the National Assembly of an amendment to Togo’s 1992 constitution, which essentially provides for a parliamentary regime in place of the semi-presidential regime enshrined in the 1992 Constitution and hands over the power to elect the country’s president by universal, direct, and secret suffrage from the citizens of Togo to the parliament.

The Network is troubled by the threat that the amendment poses to the stability of Togo, with the likely prospect that it will further exclude ordinary citizens’ right to express their political choices through a vote, a fundamental right enshrined in Article 4 of the African Union Charter on Democracy, Elections, and Governance. The situation is exacerbated by the process of adopting such a critical amendment. The fact that a referendum was not the prioritized option to adopt the amendment and that the decision was taken by a Parliament controlled by one party and its affiliates certainly affects the rights of the citizens to contribute to the reforms, current affairs, and governance of the country. This is also in violation of the African Union Charter.

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While welcoming the intervention of the President for the National Assembly to review the amendment, engage in larger consultations, and hold parliamentary and regional elections on April 29, the Network condemns the timing of the proposed changes ahead of the scheduled election in clear violation of Article 2 of the ECOWAS Supplementary Protocol on Democracy, Good Governance, and Elections, as well as the use of force to suppress the rights of citizens to voice their disapproval of the amendment.

The WADEMOS Network urges the Government of Togo to take into consideration the calls of the people of Togo disapproving of the ongoing process, including the voice of pro-democratic actors in Togo, namely the Togolese Conference of Bishops, academics, the CSOs, and the Diaspora, calling on the President to postpone the promulgation of the new Constitution and to initiate an inclusive political dialogue after the results of the next legislative and regional elections.

We take serious note of the decision of the ECOWAS Commission to deploy a mission ahead of the legislative and regional elections. We expect that the mission will host dialogue with the Government of Togo, civil society, political parties, and stakeholders and come out with good practice recommendations on the different issues at stake, the regional implications, the impact on the ECOWAS of the people, the preservation of peace, and the consolidation of democracy in West Africa.

We declare our commitment to working with national, regional, and international institutions towards resolving this current challenge. We believe that constitutional reforms will continue to be an important feature of democracy and, as such, will remain a significant part of governance in Togo through an inclusive, deliberative, and legitimate process.



WADEMOS is an independent and non-partisan network of diverse national and transnational civil society organizations and civic groups working to promote and defend democracy, good governance, and inclusive development in the West Africa region. WADEMOS mobilizes, coordinates, and leverages the collective voice and power of civil society and other pro-democracy actors, resources, and opportunities within the West Africa region to advance its mission. The current membership of WADEMOS stands at 47 spread across West Africa. The WADEMOS Secretariat is based in Accra, Ghana.


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