Togo PM, govt quit to widen leadership before vote


Togo’s prime minister and government have resigned to broaden the leadership ahead of the next parliamentary election, said the president’s office.

The west African state is to hold parliamentary elections in October. There have been a series of protests in the former French colony in the past few weeks as opposition groups seek to reverse changes to voting rules.
“It is important that all representative movements in Togo’s society are involved in public office in this new period in preparation for the parliamentary elections,” President Faure Gnassingbe’s office said in a statement, Reuters reports.

The statement, published by government daily newspaper Togo-Presse, added that the president would now hold talks with all those interested in joining the government.

An earlier statement said Gnassingbe had accepted Prime Minister Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo’s resignation but that the former U.N. diplomat would temporarily continue to run the government’s daily business.

Houngbo was virtually unknown on the Togolese political scene when he was named prime minister in 2008. He was kept in the post following Gnassingbe’s re-election in May 2010.