ECOWAS deploys fact-finding mission to Togo ahead of delayed elections

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The Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS has deployed a fact-finding mission to Togo ahead of the country’s delayed elections. Initially scheduled for April 13, the election has been pushed back twice. first to April 20 and then to April 29.

Togo’s election is coming at a time when the country has planned a massive constitutional reform that will see it switch from a Presidential system of government to a parliamentary system. The National Assembly passed the reforms that will now change the political system where the masses elect presidents to a system where Parliament elects a President.

A statement by ECOWAS said “These reforms, passed through the National Assembly, aimed to transform the Togolese political system from a presidential to a parliamentary model. In this crucial context, the ECOWAS Commission has deemed it necessary to dispatch a fact-finding mission to Togo.”

Per the new system, “members of Parliament will elect the President, who in turn will elect the President of the Council of Ministers with executive powers, equivalent of a Prime Minister under the Westminster system. Such a President would be appointed from within the party or coalition with parliamentary majority.”

According to ECOWAS, the mission will begin its work in the country on April 15 and remain in the country through April 20.

“The seven-member fact-finding mission, which is in response to an earlier invitation by the Togolese government, is led by H.S. Maman Samba Sidikou, the immediate past head of the AU Mission in Mali and the Sahel. It will remain in the country from 15th to 20th April,”

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