Background: French Togoland became Togo 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. Democratic gains since then allowed Togo to hold its first relatively free and fair legislative elections in October 2007. Since 2007, President GNASSINGBE has started the country along a gradual path to political reconciliation and democratic reform, and Togo has held multiple presidential and legislative elections that were deemed generally free and fair by international observers. Despite those positive moves, political reconciliation has moved slowly and many Togolese complain that important political measures such as presidential term limits and electoral reforms remain undone, leaving the country’s politics in a lethargic state. Internationally, Togo is still known as a country where the same family has been in power for five decades.
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Source: CIA World Factbook - This page was last updated on July 9, 2017