Togo’s Prime Minister, others resign


Togolese Prime Minister Komi Selom Klassou and his government have resigned, in an expected political reshuffle delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The move late on Friday was anticipated since President Faure Gnassingbe was re-elected in February for a fourth term in office after a constitutional change allowed him to run again.

A statement on the presidency’s website said Gnassingbe accepted Klassou’s resignation and congratulated him and his team for their “economic, political and social efforts and the encouraging results despite the health crisis around the world”.

Klassou has served as prime minister since 2015.

The president’s election win, which was disputed by the opposition, extended more than a half-century of rule by the Gnassingbe family.

Gnassingbe has led the country of eight million people since taking over in 2005 following the death of his father, Eyadema Gnassingbe, who ruled for 38 years.

Ahead of the February election, a fractured opposition struggled to launch a concerted campaign to unseat Gnassingbe, despite deadly demonstrations against his rule in 2005 and 2017.

Togo is one of the poorest countries in the world. Its economy has been further hit by the coronavirus pandemic as the authorities have imposed restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19.

To date, the country has recorded 1,722 coronavirus infections and 44 related deaths.

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