Democracy and the Togolese sham

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Democracy and the Togolese sham

Post by admin » Mon Feb 14, 2005 9:18 am

An editorial from THE JAMAICA OBSERVER
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com

Democracy and the Togolese sham

Sunday, February 13, 2005

We are heartened by the principled position adopted by West African states on developments in Togo, which augurs well for the entrenchment of constitutional rule and the growth of democracy on the entire African continent.

Indeed, the response by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has certain parallels to how Caribbean Community (Caricom) member states handled last year's coup d'etat that ousted the Haitian president, Jean-Bertand Aristide.

We would like to believe that in addition to a growing emphasis on issues of governance in Africa, promoted by the African Union, ECOWAS would have been, to some degree, influenced by the example of Caricom on the Haitian questi
on.

For not only are Caribbean nations part of the African Diaspora, President Obasanjo of Nigeria, an important presence in ECOWAS, was close to the Haitian issue and was aware of Caricom's approach to the matter.

Last week, on the sudden death of Togo's long-time leader President Eyadema Gnessingbe, the Togolese military installed his son Faure Gnessingbe as his late father's successor.

If constitutional order was respected, the country's parliamentary speaker would have been interim president until new elections in 60 days. Instead, after the Gnessingbe installation, the military engineered a retroactive constitutional amendment so as to legitimise his rule.
It was all, of course, a sham and ECOWAS, the African Union and most of the world saw through it.

For clearly, what has taken place in Togo is a coup d'etat, done with even greater crudity than the botched constitutional attempt in Haiti where Caricom's constitutional initiative was shunted aside by the Western troi
ka. Happily, on this occasion the French have returned to good sense and have rejected the military-led putsch in Togo.

Significantly, the 15-member ECOWAS has urged the Togolese to reverse Gnessingbe's installation and return to constitutional order or face the prospects of sanctions.

The presidents of five West African nations - Mali, Benin, Ghana, Niger and Nigeria - were mandated to deliver that message to the authorities in Lome. It is significant that these leaders insisted that the Togolese travel to Niger, refusing to meet in the Togolese city of Kara, a stronghold of the Gnessingbes.

The important point that has been made by ECOWAS, as well as by the African Union in its statement of condemnation, is that Africa is attempting to put the days of unrest and coups behind it in favour of constitutional order and quality governance. The process will, at times, be slow and difficult and Africa will need help, but it is something that Africa, its leaders and people, will have to lead t
hemselves.

That was the fundamental point that Caricom was attempting to make about Haiti, with an initiative that would have helped to get that country out of its cycle of eschewing constitutional order and changing government by violent means.

Bravely, but correctly, Caricom stood for principle, insisting that Haiti must return to core standards before returning to the councils of the community. Those who should have known better didn't listen in Haiti. It is good that the message seems to be penetrating in the case of Togo.

Jonas
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Post by Jonas » Wed Feb 16, 2005 5:14 pm

Did you guys read the reaction of CHIRAC ,when this "piece of s..." Ayadema, passed away.
"La France a perdu un grand ami"

For Ayadema to have been a great friend of the French, says a lot about the French.

This guy, this former sergeant of the French army, who had pillaged the Treasury, assassinated thousands of people and kept an iron grip on this unfortunate nation, since 1967.

GREAT FRIEND OF FRANCE?

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