Togo’s op­po­si­tion keeps call for protest de­spite ban

Arab News - - INTERNATIONAL -

LOME: Togo’s op­po­si­tion on Wednesday re­fused to can­cel two protests planned for next week, de­spite a gov­ern­ment ban on po­lit­i­cal marches on week­days.

Four­teen par­ties called on their sup­port­ers to take to the streets against Pres­i­dent Faure Gnass­ingbe next Wednesday and Thursday.

“Wednesday’s march will end on the es­planade out­side the National Assem­bly,” the spokesman for the main op­po­si­tion National Al­liance for Change (ANC), Eric Dupuy, told AFP.

“The one on the 19th (Thursday), will fin­ish out­side the ECOWAS of­fices,” he added, re­fer­ring to the West African regional bloc.

Dupuy main­tained the op­po­si­tion had given proper no­ti­fi­ca­tion for the demon­stra­tions, as re­quired in law.

“If the gov­ern­ment de­cides to break the law, the peo­ple will not re­spect it,” he said.

On Tues­day evening, Togo’s min­is­ter of ter­ri­to­rial ad­min­is­tra­tion, Payad­owa Boukpessi, an­nounced that po­lit­i­cal marches would now be banned from Mon­day to Fri­day.

Peo­ple would still be able to meet in a “fixed spot” and march at week­ends.

The de­ci­sion was taken to pre­vent “vi­o­lence” and a re­cur­rence of calls for civil dis­obe­di­ence, eco­nomic sab­o­tage and even mur­der against the gov­ern­ment, he told a news con­fer­ence.

Next week’s planned demon­stra­tions will be the lat­est in a se­ries since late Au­gust that have mor­phed from a push for con­sti­tu­tional change to calls for Gnass­ingbe to step down.

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