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Togo

Yearbook 2002

Togo. Several years of political contradictions escalated when a new electoral law, adopted at the beginning of the year, stated that electoral candidates must have lived in Togo continuously for the past twelve months. The law was considered tailor-made to exclude opposition leader Gilchrist Olympio, who lives in neighboring Ghana for security reasons. The opposition then rejected an offer to participate in the electoral commission. With reference to this boycott, the government postponed the election, which would have been held on March 10, after previously being both in 2000 and 2001.

2002 Togo

In June, President Gnassingbé Eyadéma dismissed Prime Minister Gabriel Messan Agbéyomè Kodjo, formerly one of his closest confidants. Kodjo accused the president of abusing power, but soon became himself the subject of a gross campaign of dirt and was forced to leave the country.

According to Countryaah website, a new press law established up to five years in prison and up to the equivalent of SEK 70,000. in fines for articles that offend the president. The law soon came into effect when an opposition politician and magazine publisher was jailed for four months for false information about the president's private fortune.

Finally, the parliamentary elections were held in October but boycotted by the major opposition parties, giving the ruling Assembly for the Togolese People (RPT) 72 of the 81 seats. The EU refrained from contributing to the financing of the elections, which through the boycott did not become the intended end point for many years of conflict.

By virtue of his vast majority, in December, the RPT revoked the constitutional clause that would have forced President Eyadéma to resign in 2003. He is now basically able to be re-elected as head of state life.

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