ANNAN CALLS ON TOGOLESE TO RESPECT OWN CONSTITUTION IN APPOINTING PRESIDENTIAL SUCCESSOR
New York, Feb 7 2005 3:00PM
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today called on Togo to respect its own constitution in appointing a successor to long-serving President Gnassingbe Eyadema, who died over the weekend, voicing concern that the process did not follow the West African country's basic law.
Through his spokesman, Mr. Annan expressed concern that "the transfer of power that has taken place in Togo.has not been done in full respect of the provisions of the Constitution."
The Secretary-General stressed the need for constitutionality and respect for the rule of law, spokesman Fred Eckhard said in a statement.
After Mr. Eyadema's death was announced on Saturday, Mr. Annan paid tribute to him for his peacemaking efforts in the region and called on the Togolese authorities to "take all necessary measures to preserve stability in the country and ensure a peaceful transfer of power consistent with the constitution and the rule of law."
According to the constitution, the President of the National Assembly should have become acting president until fresh elections were held within 60 days.
Instead, President Eyadema's son, Faure Gnassingbe, a cabinet minister, was appointed Head of State shortly after his father's death, and the constitution was amended on Sunday.