Francophonie threatens Togo with suspension

Paris- France (PANA) -- The Francophonie Parliamentary Assembly (APF) on Tuesday condemned the violation of the constitution in Togo and threatened to suspend the country if the violation of constitutional legality is confirmed, official sources said here.
APF, which calls on political actors in Togo to take all necessary measures to ensure a transition respectful of the Constitution and to hold, within 60 days, free and fair elections, "reserves the right to suspend Togo from participating in the proceedings of the APF should the violation of constitutional legality be confirmed".
The Togolese constitution is clear on success in case of a vacancy due to the death of the President of Togo, an AFP communiqué, a copy of which was despatch to PANA, said.
According to APF, "it is indispensable that these provisions be complied with for this constitution rules out any procedure of revision during an interim period or power vacancy".
The Francophonie Parliamentary Assembly emphasised that the decisions taken since the death of president Gnassingbe Eyadema are not in line with these provisions and clearly violate constitutional legality which looks very much like assumption of power by the military.
APF, the Francophonie consultative assembly comprising parliamentarians from 74 parliaments or inter-parliamentary organisations, supports the position of the international Francophonie Organisation (OIF) which called for strict adherence to provisions contained in article 65 of the Togolese constitution which must apply in the case of a power vacancy at the Presidency of the Republic.
The international community condemned the designation, on Saturday, of Faure Gnassingbe as Togo's interim president by asking for strict implementation of the provisions of the constitution which attributes this prerogative to the speaker of the national assembly, left stranded in Cotonou since the beginning of the crisis.
Soon after the official announcement of the death of President Eyadema, the army made an act of allegiance to Faure Gnassingbe, by designating him as his father's successor.
The following day, the national assembly hurriedly modified the constitution to enable him to remain in power until 2008 so as to end the term of his deceased father.
The senior Eyadema was re-elected for the third time in 2003 under a quasi-pluralistic political system.

08 february 2005 21:31:00




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