Togo’s government closed schools in the capital, Lome, ahead of protests by opposition and ruling party supporters.
A coalition of opposition parties, known as CAP 2015, plans to hold a demonstration to demand constitutional reforms before a presidential election is held next year. CAP 2015 is headed by Jean-Pierre Fabre, who plans to run against incumbent President Faure Gnassingbe.
“Due to the potential risks that protests have for the safety of students, schools will be closed on Friday, ” the Education Ministry said in a statement read on state television yesterday.
Gnassingbe, 48, in 2005 succeeded his father Gnassingbe Eyadema, who had led the cotton and coffee-exporting nation since 1967. Last year, his ruling Union for the Republic party won more than two-thirds of the seats in parliament in legislative elections.
In August, Fabre called for an overhaul of the country’s electoral commission to make it “fair and credible, ” because he said the current composition favors the ruling party. The 62-year-old former university lecturer and newspaper editor has also demanded that a limit be imposed on presidential terms.
A month earlier, all 61 lawmakers from the ruling party voted against a proposed law to limit presidents to two terms in office.
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