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TOGO: EYADEMA’S SON; FAURE SWORN IN FOR FOURTH TERM AS PRESIDENT

Togo’s President Faure Gnassingbe was inaugurated on Sunday at a ceremony that was minimised to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Some 200 guests – all wearing face masks and practicing social distancing – attended the ceremony.

With borders closed, it was only attended by diplomats already in the country.

The televised ceremony was shortened to just over 80 minutes, without the usual pomp and ceremony.

Gnassingbe, 53, won by a landslide in February, extending his 15-year reign by another five years.

The inauguration went ahead despite measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic in the small West African country, which has recorded 123 cases and nine deaths, according to the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.

Gnassingbe was sworn in despite the objections of his political rival, former prime minister Agbeyome Kodjo, who won 18.37 per cent of the vote. Military police detained Kodjo in April after he declared himself president-elect.

@ AFP

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Following President Eyadéma’s death in 2005, Gnassingbé was immediately installed as President with support from the army.

Doubts regarding the constitutional legitimacy of the succession led to heavy regional pressure being placed on Gnassingbé, and he subsequently resigned on 25 February.

He then won a controversial presidential election on 24 April 2005, and was sworn in as President.

Gnassingbé was re-elected for a second term in 2010.

In the April 2015 presidential election, Gnassingbé won a third term, defeating his main challenger, Jean-Pierre Fabre, by a margin of about 59% to 35%, according to official results.

In the February 2020 presidential elections, Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé Eyadéma won his fourth presidential term in office as the President of Togo.

According to the official result, he won with a margin of around 72% of the vote share.

This enabled him to defeat his closest challenger, the former prime minister Agbeyome Kodjo who had 18%.

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