Officially: République Togolaise.
Seat of government: Lomé.
Status: Not democratic.
Structure: Party-dominant state based on loyalty to the current president’s father.
Governing party: Union pour la République (formerly Rassemblement du Peuple Togolais).
Heads of government: Faure Gnassingbé, president; Komi Sélom Klassou, prime minister.
Opposition parties: Collectif Sauvons le Togo (including Alliance Nationale pour le Changement, led by Jean-Pierre Fabre); Coalition Arc-en-Ciel (including Comité d’Action pour la Renouveau, led by Dodji Apévon); Union des Forces du Changement, led by Gilchrist Olympio.
Assessment: Sham democracy in transition. Dictator Gnassingbé Éyadéma (1967-2005), who had ruled absolutely and created a cult of personality, died in office. He perpetuated his rule through constitutional changes and fraudulent elections. The army designated Faure Gnassingbé, a son of Éyadéma and previously communications minister, as acting president, bypassing the constitutional successor; the undemocratic parliament unanimously endorsed him for the rest of Éyadéma’s term. Faure, presumably speaking for the régime, then said that new elections for president would be held, in accordance with the pre-existing constitution, and, under further external pressure, yielded the interim presidency to Abass Bonfoh, endorsed by parliament as its new speaker. Opposition was anchored by the UFC, led by Gilchrist Olympio, who was banned from standing in elections, and whose father Sylvanus was a former leader of Togo (1960-3), overthrown and possibly personally assassinated by Éyadéma. Faure contested the 2005 presidential election as the candidate of Éyadéma’s RPT. Emmanuel Akitani Bob contested for the UFC. Obvious vote-tampering activities preceded the declaration of Faure as the victor. He first appointed Edem Kodjo (1994-6, 2005-6) as prime minister. But an accord for a national-unity government saw prominent dissident Yawovi Agboyibo (2006-7) of the CAR named as premier. The UFC signed the accord but chose not to participate. It did, however, participate in the 2007 parliamentary elections. Those were officially won by the RPT; subsequently, Agboyibo resigned. In 2010, a new presidential election was held, Olympio was again unable to participate, and the UFC was represented by Fabre. After Faure was declared the winner, the UFC split over a response, with Fabre forming the ANC. That same year, Olympio agreed to bring his party into government. In a 2013 parliamentary election, the UniR officially won a majority of seats, but the divided opposition a majority of votes; two new opposition coalitions (the CST and CA) emerged, and the rump UFC was nearly eliminated. The official result of a 2015 presidential election was again Faure over Fabre; Fabre rejected this.
FH: 4-4, partly free (not democratic). Econ: 3.45 (130), authoritarian.
Updated: 2015 June 19.