Freedom of religion is protected in Togo’s constitution and is generally respected in society. About half of the population are followers of traditional African religions, while around a third are Christians. The majority of them are Catholics and live in the South.
In the north and in the middle parts of the country, most of Togo’s Muslims live, which belongs to the Sunni area and comprise at most one fifth of the population.
It is difficult to get information on the number of followers of different religions, as data on religious affiliation and ethnicity are not collected. Religious groups other than Christians and Muslims, which are recognized as official religions, must register with the authorities.
- Countryaah: Population statistics for 2020 and next 30 years in Togo, covering demographics, population graphs, and official data for growth rates, population density, and death rates.
Expected election victory for Unir
Parliamentary elections are held despite a violent electoral movement and despite the opposition boycotting the election. Governing Unir wins 59 of the 91 seats and thus backs with 3 seats compared to the 2013 election. The UFC gets 7 seats and four small parties together receive 7 seats. Independent candidates take home 18 seats.
The opposition is forbidden to demonstrate
The government bans the opposition from conducting a series of planned demonstrations against the elections on December 20, on the grounds that they pose a security risk.
The opposition demonstrates against the election
The opposition is conducting the third two-week demonstration, demanding that the election on December 20 be postponed.
The opposition boycott the election
The opposition announces that it will boycott the parliamentary elections on December 20. The main reason is that the Constitutional Court has approved the ballot papers for 12 parties and 17 independent candidates, but none of the 14 parties that are part of the opposition coalition have been approved ballot papers. The opposition, which calls for the electoral authority to be reformed, plans for new demonstrations against the government and the electoral process.
Parliamentary elections announced for December
Parliamentary elections will be held on December 20, the Togolese Election Commission announces. For over a year now, hundreds of thousands of people around the country have demonstrated with demands for the resignation of the government and a return to the 1992 constitution which stipulated that the president could only be re-elected. The opposition calls for that rule to apply retroactively so that President Gnassingbé cannot stand in the 2020 election.
New calls the government-opposition
The dialogue between the government and the opposition resumed after three months. The opposition, which held demonstrations throughout the fall of 2017 and some into January, wants to see an end to President Gnassingbe’s rule. Gnassingbé became president in 2005. He then succeeded his father, who has been in power for 38 years.
Court requires parliamentary elections
The Constitutional Court calls on the government to organize parliamentary elections before the end of the year. According to the Constitution, elections must be held no later than 30 days before the sitting of the sitting parliament, which will take place on August 19. The Court notes that the process is delayed and calls on the Election Commission to begin preparing elections.
Political dialogue is interrupted
The dialogue between the government and the opposition, which started in March to try to resolve the political crisis, is temporarily interrupted when it lasts for more than a month without success.
Free Trade Agreement in Africa
Togo is one of 44 countries to sign a Free Trade Agreement at the African Union Summit in Rwanda. The agreement must be ratified at the national level before the AFCFTA free trade area can become a reality, but it is seen as a historically important step towards increased trade exchange within Africa.
Dialogue should solve political crisis
After the protests against the government continue into the new year, the government and the opposition enter into a dialogue to try to resolve the political crisis. The opposition faces the government’s proposal for constitutional amendments, which opens the opportunity for President Gnassingbé to remain in office until 2030. Protests against the proposal have been held across the country virtually every week since August 2017. At least 17 people have been killed in the AFP news agency clashes with the police since then.