Togo’s Constitutional Court has rejected an appeal challenging the eligibility of President Faure Gnassingbe for the presidential election of February 22, 2020 in the West African country.
Information the Ghana News Agency (GNA) gathered reveal that the Court deemed the application by Mr Jean-Pierre Fabre, an opposition leader and President of the National Alliance for Change (ANC) “impossible” to be upheld.
Mr Fabre told the country last week that he filed a motion seeking to invalidate Mr Gnassingbe’s candidacy and annul an additional bill to the 1992 Constitution to allow the incumbent President who had already served more than two five-year presidential terms, to seek re-election accusing the National Assembly of acting arbitrarily.
But the court in rejecting the appeal said among other things that, it did not have the jurisdiction to annul a promulgated law (the new paragraph of article 158 of the Constitution) and as such, could not invalidate Mr Gnassingbe’s candidacy.
In 2017, a government bill to restore a two-term presidency that would not be retroactive, thus, allowing Gnassingbé to run again in 2020 and 2025, faced rejection from the country’s 14-party opposition coalition and consequently led to strong popular protest from the citizenry.
President Gnassingbe has been in office since 2005, following the death of his father, Gnassingbe Eyadema who ruled Togo for 38 years after coming to power through a coup d’état in 1967.
He won re-election in 2010 and a third term in 2015 and now bidding for a fourth term.
Meanwhile, the full list of the presidential candidates for Togo’s Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) have been made public. President Gnassingbe will have to beat six other candidates including Mr Fabre of National Alliance for Change (ANC), and Mr Kodjo Agbeyome of the Patriotic Movement for Democracy (MPDD) to win the February 22 election.
The rest are Mr Tchaboure Gogue, ADDI, Mr Georges William Kuessan, People’s Health, Mr Mohamed Tchassona Traore, MCDF and, Mr Komi Wolou of PSR.