The president of Togo Faure Gnassingbe has been sworn into office over the weekend at a ceremony streamed on Facebook. The entire ceremony lasted an hour and 18 minutes.
It took place in a hall in the capital Lome with the Constitutional Court judges presided over the ceremony. The President of the court administered the oath of office to Gnassingbe for his fourth consecutive term.
His oath included amongst others a solemn pledge to respect and defend the constitution and to faithfully fulfill the high functions entrusted to him.
As well as to devote all efforts at promotion of development, the common good, peace and national unity; to preserve the integrity of the national territory; and to be a faithful and loyal servant of the people.
President Gnassingbe remained unmasked throughout the ceremony. He was handed articles of the state. This includes the national flag and the constitution by mostly masked officials. The judges were all masked.
Government officials and diplomats present for the occasion seated in strict observance of social distancing regulations in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gnassingbe’s journey to a fourth straight term
Gnassingbe has been in charge of the country since 2005 when his father Eyadema Gnassingbe died while in office. At the time, Eyadema Gnassingbe had ruled the country for 38 years.
Between 2017 and 2018, mass protests forced changes to be made to the existing laws. At the time, the law allowed a president unlimited terms. But the new law that caps the presidential terms to two of five years each did not take retrospective effect.
It means that barring any changes in the future, after the current tenure (2020 – 2025), the president will have the opportunity to seek a final re-election before leaving office in 2030. The February 22 presidential polls happened just in time before the disruption of life by COVID-19 pandemic.
- February 22 – Polls take place
- February 24 – Faure declared the winner with 72% of votes
- March 3: Constitutional Court affirms official results
- April 22: Opposition leader arrested for declaring himself president
- May 3: Faure sworn in for a fourth term