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Unformatted text preview: Constitutional and Succession Crisis in West Africa: The Case of Togo Adewale Banjo * ………………… Abstract The politics of succession in post-independence West Africa has left much to be desired and, by extension, has affected the quality of democracy and human security in the sub-region. This article briefly assesses succession politics in Togo, a small West African nation of approximately 5 million people, following the death of President Gnassingbe Eyadema, one of Africa’s longest serving dictators. The author describes the military takeover and subsequent election that legitimized the illegal take over of power by Eyadema’s son despite sustained domestic opposition from politicians and civil society, as well as sub-regional, regional and international condemnation of a Constitutional “coup d’etat” in Togo. The article concludes that the succession crisis in Togo is far from over, given the continuing manipulation of what the author calls the geo-ethnic divide in that country. ∗ Ph.D. (Ibadan), Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Zululand, KZN, South Africa. A former UNESCO Scholar and George Soros/CEU Fellow, he is the author of ‘ECOWAS Court and the Politics of Access to Justice in West Africa’ in Afrique et Developpement, CODESRIA (2007). ©2008. The Africa Law Institute. All rights reserved. Cite as: 2 Afr. J. Legal Stud. 2 (2005) 147-161. The African Journal of Legal Studies (“AJLS”) is a free peer-reviewed and interdisciplinary journal published by The Africa Law Institute (“ALawI”). ALawI’s mission is to engage in policy-oriented research that promotes human rights, good governance, democracy and the rule of law in Africa. The views expressed in the articles and other contributions to the AJLS are those of the authors only, not of our Editorial or Consultative Boards or ALawI. To download or comment on current articles, sign-up for future issues or submit a manuscript, please visit <http://www.africalawinstitute.org/ajls> or e- mail [email protected] AJLS is also available on CIAO Net, HeinOnline, Lexis-Nexis, ProQuest, Quicklaw and Westlaw. The journal welcomes books for review and inquiries from experts wishing to serve on our consultative board. E-mail Charles Chernor Jalloh, Founding Editor-in-Chief, at [email protected] . Constitutional and Succession Crisis in West Africa: The Case of Togo Banjo I. Introduction Succession is broadly understood to mean the process of changing leadership. It basically involves three stages: the vacating of power by the old ruler, the selection of the new, and his or her legitimisation. Periods of succession are often tense times for all regimes, even where there exists established procedures and easy legitimisation. But times of succession are even more precarious for authoritarian regimes. In the West African sub-region, no country has been spared the tensions and pressures associated with the succession process since...
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