Sunday, March 25, 2007

FAURE GNASSINGBE DYNASTIC SUCCESSION

Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé President of Togo

Born in the town of Afagnan in 1966, Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé studied in Paris and obtained Master of Business Admnistration degree from The George Washington University, USA. Prior to becoming president Faure was deputy to the National Assembly of Togo for Blitta, coordinator of the commission in charge of privatization and served as Minister of Mines and Telecommunications. He has a reputation of a skilled politician. Since coming to power, he has been working tirelessly to reconcile Togolese politicians and revive the relations with European Union.


Faure's Father

General Gnassingbé Eyadéma, 1937-2005 was the 5th President of Togo from 1967 until he death in 2005. At the time of his death he was the longest-serving head of state in Africa . He fathered more than a hundred children with numerous women. His son Faure Gnassingbe then took power as his successor as he was one he considered to be more level headed and had been his financial advisor on his business interests.


Like his father Gnassingbe Eyadéma, Faure is a man of very few words. But he does have the fierce loyalty of the West African country’s well-organized and well-equipped military. He is a relative newcomer to politics, entering the political fray in June 2002, when he won a seat in parliamentary elections as a candidate of the ruling Togo People’s Rally in Blitta constituency in central Togo.
Later, he was appointed by his father as minister for telecommunications, mines and equipment - a post he held until his Eyadema’s death in February. The Late Eyadema considered political leadership a matter for destiny to decide. The late president once told journalists he would never impose a successor on his people. However, while his son was minister, Eyadema lowered the eligibility age for presidential candidates from 40 to 35 years when the ruling party
Rassemblement du Peuple Togolais dominated parliament unilaterally amended the Togo constitution in December 2002.


Market life in Togo

On February 5, 2005, following his fathers death the late President Gnassingbe Eyadéma of a heart attack shortly afterwards, Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé was named by Togo’s military as the country’s leader, raising numerous eyebrows. Army Chief of Staff General Zakari Nandja announced the succession, saying the speaker of parliament (who should have taken over under the constitution) was out of the country. Africa Union leaders described the naming of Faure Gnassingbé as a military coup. The constitution of Togo declared that in the case of the president’s death, the speaker of Parliament takes his place, and has 60 days to call new elections. However, on February 6, Parliament retroactively changed the Constitution, declaring that Faure would hold office for the rest of his father’s term, with elections deferred until 2008.



The African Union described the takeover as a military coup d’etat. International pressure from the United Nations and Togo's opposition to the takeover culminated in riots. In response, Gnassingbé agreed to hold elections in April 2005. On February 25, Gnassingbé resigned as president, soon after accepting nomination to run for the office in April. On May 3, 2005, Gnassingbé was sworn in as the new president garnering 60% of the vote according to official results. Disquiet has continued however with the opposition declaring the voting as having been rigged.

Dynastic succession is reported to be a characteristic of more conservative Francophone African countries, where power is heavily concentrated around the presidency - which in turn is dependent on the backing of the former colonial power, France. Remnants of chieftaincy traditions are also a deciding factor as illustrated by government ministers who are more akin to “courtiers”.

4 comments:

Rugo said...

Very tragic in this mondern day and age. It should be one of the priorities of the African Union to abolish the slavery in Mauritania, if it is be stake its claim as a unifier of Africa.

Anonymous said...

So, Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé is still the president of Togo? I'm doing a school project so any information about him will help. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

If you can answer the question up, by a comment. Please and Thank you:)

AFRICAN LIZ said...

Yes Faure is still president and if you can read French you may be interested in visiting this web site http://www.republicoftogo.com/central.php?o=1&s=359&d=3&i=65
i hope this helps and good luck in your research

 
Afrigator