Togo. The March parliamentary elections were boycotted by
the opposition in protest of cheating in the 1998
presidential election. According to
Countryaah official website, the RPT ruling party won all but two
mandates, which went to independent candidates. In May,
former UN official Eugene Koffi Adoboli was named new prime
Following the mediation of French President Jacques
Chirac, the government and opposition were reconciled in
July. New elections were announced until March 2000, and
President Gnassingbé Eyadéma promised to resign at the 2003
In 2007, parliamentary elections were scheduled to be
held in June, but in May the Election Commission postponed
them to October. As a justification, the Commission stated
that it was necessary to clear out the electoral rolls and
that software should be developed to facilitate the counting
The October parliamentary election was won by
Gnassingbé's RPT party, which got 72 out of Parliament's 81
seats. In early December, President RPT appointed member
Komlan Mally to the post of Prime Minister.
After just 9 months on the post, Mally resigned in
September 2008. He was replaced by Gilbert Houngbo.
Observers pointed out that Mally had been a weak prime
minister and that was the reason for his replacement.
Houngbo was a relatively unknown technocrat who had been
employed by the UNDP.
The March 2010 presidential election was won by
Gnassingbé with 61% of the vote ahead of opposition
Jean-Pierre Fabre, who got 34%. The election triggered huge
tensions in the opposition party UFC, which had originally
nominated its founder and president, Gilchrist Olympio. But
when this was in the United States for consideration in
January, the party appointed its Secretary-General
Jean-Pierre Fabre instead. Tensions between the two wings of
the party further intensified after the election, and at the
end of May Olympio entered into a political agreement with
Prime Minister Houngbo on his own, leading to the UFC
joining 7 ministers in his new government. The deal led
Olympio's opponents to demand him excluded by the party.
Throughout 2010, the opposition organized peaceful
demonstrations in protest of the March election results. The
demonstrations were routinely attacked by police. In June, 1
demonstrator was killed by police. Dozens injured throughout
the year and hundreds arrested. Police routinely used tear
gas against the protesters. There is widespread impunity for
the Togo police, and the person responsible for the murder
in June was not brought to justice either.
Following criticism from Amnesty International in the
fall of 2011 for police use of torture, the national human
rights organization initiated an investigation. However, its
February 2012 report was censored and the government instead
issued its own "report" releasing the police from liability.
CNDH chairman Koffi Kounté confirmed to Amnesty that he had
been threatened and that the investigations confirmed that
the police were using torture. The government's censorship
of reports triggered both national and international
protests for which the government ultimately bowed. It
accepted the report's conclusions and promised to fight the
widespread impunity for the security forces. But by the end
of the year, no steps had been taken in this direction. The
authorities continued to use torture.