From the 11th to the 16th centuries, various ethnic groups settled the Togo region. From the 16th to the 18th centuries, the coastal region became a major trading center for enslaved people, and the surrounding region took on the name of "The Slave Coast." In 1884, Germany declared a region, which included present-day Togo, as a protectorate called Togoland. After World War I, colonial rule over Togo was transferred to France. French Togoland became Togo upon independence in 1960. Gen. Gnassingbe EYADEMA, installed as military ruler in 1967, ruled Togo with a heavy hand for almost four decades. Despite the facade of multi-party elections instituted in the early 1990s, the government was largely dominated by President EYADEMA, whose Rally of the Togolese People (RPT) party has been in power almost continually since 1967 and its successor, the Union for the Republic, maintains a majority of seats in today's legislature. Upon EYADEMA's death in February 2005, the military installed the president's son, Faure GNASSINGBE, and then engineered his formal election two months later. Togo held its first relatively free and fair legislative elections in October 2007. Since then, President GNASSINGBE has started the country along a gradual path to democratic reform. Togo has held multiple presidential and legislative elections, and in 2019 held its first local elections in 32 years. Despite those positive moves, political reconciliation has moved slowly, and the country experiences periodic outbursts of protests by frustrated citizens that have led to violence between security forces and protesters. Constitutional changes in 2019 to institute a runoff system in presidential elections and to establish term limits has done little to reduce the resentment many Togolese feel after more than 50 years of one-family rule. GNASSINGBE became eligible for his current fourth term and one additional fifth term under the new rules. The next presidential election will be in 2025.
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NOTE: The information regarding Togo on this page is re-published from the 2023 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Togo 2023 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Togo 2023 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.
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