Formerly part of French West Africa.
Country in W Africa, on the Atlantic Ocean, bounded N by Burkina Faso, E by Benin, and W by Ghana.
The 1992 constitution provides for a president, elected by universal suffrage for a seven-year term, and an 81-member national assembly, similarly elected for a five-year term. The prime minister is chosen by the assembly. Other ministers are chosen by the president and prime minister jointly.
For early history, see Africa. Called Togoland, the country was a German protectorate 1885–1914, when it was captured by Anglo-French forces. It was divided between Britain and France 1922 under a League of Nations mandate and continued under United Nations trusteeship from 1946. In 1956 British Togoland voted for integration with Ghana, where it became Volta region 1957.
French Togoland voted to become an autonomous republic within the French union. The new Togolese republic achieved internal self-government 1956 and full independence 1960. Sylvanus Olympio, leader of the United Togolese party, became president in an unopposed election April 1961. In 1963 Olympio was killed in a military coup and his brother-in-law Nicolas Grunitzky, who had gone into exile, was recalled to become president.
In 1967 Grunitzky was, in turn, deposed in a bloodless military coup, led by Lt Gen Etienne Gnassingbé Eyadéma. The new constitution was suspended and Eyadéma assumed the presidency, banning all political activity. Six years later he founded a new party, the socialist, nationalist Assembly of the Togolese People (RPT), and declared it the only legal political organization. Between 1967 and 1986 there were several attempts to overthrow him. In 1991, in response to pressure from demonstrators, Eyadéma announced the introduction of a multiparty system. In April he legalized opposition parties and freed political prisoners. In a prodemocracy conference in August, Eyadéma's presidential power was substantially reduced and an interim government was formed, headed by premier Joseph Kokou Koffigoh. Between Oct and Nov 1991, three attempts by Eyadéma's troops to oust the interim government failed. However, in Aug 1992 the Koffigoh administration agreed to return to President Eyadéma much of the power they had taken aw
ay in 1991. In a referendum Sept 1992 there was overwhelming support for a multiparty political system and a draft constitution was approved. President Eyadéma won the country's first multiparty elections held Aug 1993. In Jan 1994 a further attempt to oust him was foiled. Two opposition groups, the Action Committee for a Renewal (CAR) and the Togolese Union for Democracy, won a majority in the March 1994 assembly elections. President Eyadéma disputed the result, refusing to nominate the CAR candidate as prime minister and preferring Edem Kodjo of the UTD instead.