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Togo Adopts New Constitution, Moving Country From Presidential to Parliamentary System

Under this constitution, the president will be chosen "without debate" by lawmakers "for a single six-year term", and not by the public, according to the new text.

Togolese lawmakers on Monday adopted a new constitution, which will now have the president selected from Parliament, as part of a shift from a Presidential to a Parliamentary System.

The president will be chosen “without debate” by lawmakers “for a single six-year term”, and not by the public, according to the new text.

The vote comes less than a month before the next legislative elections in Togo on April 20, but it is not yet known when the change — which was approved with 89 votes in favour, one against, and one abstention — will come into force.

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The change to the constitution was proposed by lawmakers mostly from the ruling Union for the Republic (UNIR) party, and had a unanimous vote, as lawmakers from the opposition parties are poorly represented in the national assembly.

The new constitution also introduces the position of “president of the council of ministers” with “full authority and power to manage the affairs of the government and to be held accountable accordingly”. The president of the council of ministers is “the leader of the party or the leader of the majority coalition of parties following the legislative elections. The position will be held for a six-year term.”

Togo’s recent history has been dominated by the Gnassingbe clan which has ruled since 1967. The current leader, Faure Gnassingbé – in power since 2005- succeeded his father General Gnassingbe Eyadema who seized power in a coup more than 50 years ago.

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