"Asia and Africa today"
- is a scientificl monthly journal (in Russian)
of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Included in Russian Science Citation Index on
WoS platform, and EBSCO Publishing.
ISSN 0321-5075. Published since July 1957.

"Asia and Africa today" № 7 2020





Аuthor Tatyana S. DENISOVA
PhD (History) Leading Research Fellow, Head, Centre for Tropical Africa Studies, Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
PhD (Political Science) Leading Research Fellow, Centre for Sociological and Political Sciences Studies, Institute for African Studies, RAS; Associate Professor, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University) ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
Abstract:    In February 2020, Togo held a presidential election, which was won by the incumbent President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé - the son and political successor of Gnassingbé Eyadema (before 8 May 1974 - Étienne Eyadema), who had ruled the country for 38 years (1967-2005). In 2019, F. Gnassingbé forced through constitutional changes that capped presidents to serving two terms but did not apply retroactively and also reset the current leader’s term limits, which provoked mass opposition protests. As a result of the constitutional amendment, F.Gnassingbé became eligible to run for president in 2020 and 2025 and could potentially manage the country until 2030.
   One of the preconditions for F. Gnassingbé’s landslide electoral victory in February 2020 was the absence of an alternative candidate who could put forward and, most importantly, implement a program for more effective development of the country. Neither the weak and fragmented opposition, represented by rival political parties, student organizations and the Catholic Church, nor the ruling group, completely satisfied with the Gnassingbé regime, which allowed it to retain power and privileges, challenged the candidacy of Gnassingbé.
   The paper argues that political longevity in itself is not a serious problem, which, in particular, is supported by the examples of Rwanda’s Paul Kagame (2000-present) and Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni (1986-present), who have achieved notable success in implementing economic development and ensuring political stability. However, political longevity may be justified only when it is not accompanied by the rampant growth of corruption, impunity and escalation of conflicts.
   In Togo in recent years, all of these trends have been observed, but Gnassingbé’s convincing electoral victory demonstrated the apparent coincidence of interests of the insatiable leader and the country’s population, which is deprived of many civil liberties but lives in relative peace and prosperity.
Keywords: Togo, Faure Gnassingbé, Gnassingbé Eyadema, political leaders, electoral processes, political longevity
Pages 41-47