The C14 opposition coalition is calling for supporters to boycott the upcoming general elections on December 20. On Monday, November 26, C14 leaders called the elections "fraudulent" and said they will do everything they can to prevent the voting from taking place. The coalition has also announced three demonstrations: Thursday, November 29; Monday, December 3; and Tuesday, December 4. The main protests will be held in the capital Lomé but associated demonstrations are also possible in other urban areas throughout the country. General Yark Damehame, the Minister of Security, has warned opposition supporters against carrying out violent acts that will disrupt the campaigns and voting. An increased security presence and traffic disruptions are likely around all political demonstrations. Clashes between supporters and security forces cannot be ruled out.
Campaigning for the December 20 legislative elections will be held from December 4 through December 18. Furthermore, a referendum on institutional and constitutional changes, as well as local elections, will be held on December 16.
Thousands of people have taken to the streets to demand that President Gnassingbé, in power since 2005, step down. Over a dozen people have been killed in opposition protests ongoing since mid-August 2017.
The current wave of political protests comes amid negotiations - which resumed on June 27 after a three-month suspension - between the government and the opposition. According to a statement issued by opposition leaders, the government has refused to comply with a list of previously agreed upon demands, including a return to the 1992 constitution as well as a referendum on constitutional amendments to reform the electoral system. Furthermore, the coalition accuses the government of blocking the implementation of a roadmap outlined by the regional organization ECOWAS to end the ongoing political crisis. According to the C14, the government continues to arrest opposition activists and has refused to release detainees.
Individuals in Togo, particularly Lomé, are advised to avoid all public gatherings due to the risk of violence, closely monitor developments, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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