Africa

Togo profile - Leaders

  • 3 May 2015
  • From the section Africa

President: Faure Gnassingbe Eyadema

Faure Gnassingbe Eyadema succeeded his father, who died in 2005 after ruling the country with an iron fist for 38 years.

The military installed Faure Gnassingbe as president, but following intense domestic and international pressure he called elections. Hundreds died challenging his victory in those polls.

In the subsequent presidential elections in March 2010, he was declared winner, with 61% of the ballots against the main opposition's candidate Jean-Pierre Fabre, who received 35% of the vote. The opposition complained of fraud again and staged repeated protests.

In talks to end the dispute, Gilchrist Olympio, leader of the main opposition Union of Forces for Change (UFC) and son of first post-independence president Sylvanus Olympio, struck a deal with Mr Gnassingbe under which the UFC would join the government - to the disgust of many opposition stalwarts.

He was declared winner of the April 2015 presidential election, to the dismay of his main rival, Jean-Pierre Fabre, who described the polls as a fraud.

The European Union, Togo's leading international lender, said the election "went off calmly, confirming the Togolese people's attachment to democracy".

The African Union and regional bloc ECOWAS also said the vote was free and transparent.

Opposition groups had previously protested at changes to the electoral law which they said further favoured the governing coalition, and at the absence of presidential term limits that allowed Mr Gnassingbe to stand for re-election.