Togo’s opposition keeps call for protest despite ban
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.