- Title: TOGO: WOMEN PROTESTERS DEMAND RETURN TO ORIGINAL CONSTITUTION.
- Date: 28th February 2005
- Summary: (BN03) LOME, TOGO (FEBRUARY 27, 2005) (ACCESS ALL) 1. GV/CU: WOMEN MARCHING, ALL OF THEM WEARING RED CLOTHES, CARRYING BANNER READING "TOGOLESE WOMEN MARCHING FOR RETURN TO ORIGINAL CONSTITUTION"; CLOSE UP ON WOMAN SHOUTING SLOGAN (2 SHOTS) 0.07 2. (SOUNDBITE)(French) CELESTINE AIDAM, PRESIDENT OF WOMEN'S ORGANISATION FOR DEMOCRACY (GF2D), SAYING: "Faure Gnassingbe stepping down is on step forward, but it is not enough because he was immediately replaced by the First Vice President while the President of the Assembly is next door, in Benin. So we consider that the constitutional legality has net yet been retablished." 0.24 3. GV/CU: MORE OF WOMEN MARCHING DOWN THE STREETS; BANNER READING (French) "A ONE COLOR ASSEMBLY ONLY REPRESENTS ITSELF"; BANNER READING (French) "TOGOLESE POLITICIANS ARE UNCONSCIOUS BASTARDS" (3 SHOTS) 0.33 4. TV: WIDE OF LARGE CROWD IN FRONT OF STADIUM 0.37 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 15th March 2005 12:00
- Location: LOME, TOGO
- Country: Togo
- Reuters ID: LVAN99Q3EYGZYBMKW4G3U0JIOS5
- Story Text: Women took to the streets in Togo saying democracy
under threat even as Faure Gnassingbe stepped down as
Thousands of women dressed in red took to the
streets of Lome on Sunday (February 27) to warn that
democracy in the country was under threat, saying the
constitution was still being violated even after the
army-nominated leader stepped aside last week.
Faure Gnassingbe, 39, was installed by the army on Feb.
5 hours after the death of his father and Togo's ruler of
38 years, Gnassingbe Eyadema, sparking international
outrage and violent protests in which at least four
While Gnassingbe quit on Friday (Friday 25), saying he
would stand as the ruling party candidate in upcoming
elections, the protesters said Togo's new acting ruler was
not the right person according to the law.
Eyadema ruled Togo after seizing power in a 1967 as a
young army officer. He lived in an army barracks for many
years as president and the powerful military crushed any
opposition during his authoritarian rule.
National assembly head Fambare Ouattara Natchaba, a
member of the ruling party, should have become interim
leader when Eyadema died but the army sealed Togo's
borders, preventing a plane carrying him back to Togo from
While a new national assembly head, Abass Bonfoh,
became acting president when Gnassingbe stepped aside late
on Friday, the opposition says as long as Natchaba is not
in office, Togo's constitution is still being violated.
"Faure Gnassingbe stepping down is on step forward, but
it is not enough because he was immediately replaced by the
First Vice President while the President of the Assembly is
next door, in Benin. So we consider that the constitutional
legality has net yet been retablished," Celestine Aidam,
the President of a women's organisation for democracy
(GF2D) said leading the march.
But as the women were winding up their own march with
speeches in a nearby soccer stadium, several hundred young
men gathered on a main road not far from the opposition
stronghold of Be and started blocking the road
Police fired tear gas into the night to try to disperse
the groups of youths defending barricades, witnesses said.
One of the organisers of the march, Akouave Aidam, said
she had to shelter in the stadium for at least an hour as
tear gas grenades were fired outside.
There were no immediate reports of casualties.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2015. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None