Civil society groups in Togo are demanding for a constitutional reform that will allow presidential terms to be reduced to two terms.
The groups banded together to form a coalition called ‘Togo Citizens Stand Up’ (Front citoyen Togo debout).
They plan to play “a much more active role” in ongoing demonstrations calling for constitutional reform, says group spokesperson David Dosseh.
He says violence against protesters is what spurred them into action.
“Injustice is unacceptable, it’s impossible to stay neutral,” he said.
Members of Togo Citizens Stand Up reject claims that they are a tool of Togo’s opposition parties, which have mobilised a string of protests since last month attended by hundreds of thousands of citizens.
The opposition wants the president to quit power and also wants a return to the two-term limit on presidential mandates set out in the country’s 1992 constitution.
The government responded to the opposition’s calls for reform by proposing a maximum of two presidential terms, but has refused to make the legislation retroactive – meaning that it would not apply to incumbent President Faure Gnassingbé, only his successors.