Togo to hold first local elections in more than 30 years

A voter look at an electoral list outside a polling station in Agoe neighbourhood in Lome on December 20, 2018, during the voting proceedings for the legislative elections. - Parliamentary election are held in Togo with 14 opposition parties boycotting it. (Photo by Matteo FRASCHINI KOFFI / AFP) (Photo credit should read MATTEO FRASCHINI KOFFI/AFP/Getty Images)
Voters look at an electoral list as a woman walks past them outside a polling station in the Tokoin neighbourhood, in Lome on December 20, 2018 during the voting proceedings for the legislative elections. (Photo credit MATTEO FRASCHINI KOFFI/AFP/Getty Images)

Togo is expected to conduct its first local elections in more than three decades on Sunday two months after the country’s parliament approved a constitutional change that allowed President Faure Gnassingbe to potentially stay in office until 2030.

Some opposition parties are also expected to contest in the elections after following a boycott of parliamentary elections in 2018, in part due to the extended term limits of the presidency.

About 8,000 security personnel will be deployed across the country with voters going to the ballot to elect more than 1,500 local councilors.

Despite being elected on five-year terms, the country’s previous councilors governed for 14 years from 1987.

The United States, the European Union, France and Germany released a statement describing the upcoming elections as an important step in strengthening local democracy.

They urged the government and political parties to make every effort to collectively promote the holding of a free, peaceful and transparent election.