Chambre des Lords

Débat sur le Togo au Parlement britannique

par La rédaction UFCTOGO.COM , le 21 octobre 2003, publié sur

La position anglaise sur la situation politique au Togo ne souffre d’aucune ambiguïté. Pour la classe politique anglaise, Eyadéma est un dictateur, et son régime bafoue les droits de l’homme. Bref, ce n’est pas un modèle de démocratie.


GIF - 8.1 ko

Ainsi, les parlementaires britanniques suivent avec attention la situation sociopolitique dans notre pays et ne manquent pas de faire des recommandations au gouvernement britannique ainsi qu’à l’Union européenne pour s’assurer que le régime de Gnassingbé Eyadéma respecte le pluralisme politique et pratique la bonne gouvernance.

Chambre des lords

22 Mai 2003, Togo : Presidential Election

Lord Maclennan of Rogart asked Her Majesty’s Government :

What consultations they have had within the European Union to seek to secure satisfactory conditions for the holding of a democratic presidential election in Togo on 1st June.

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean : My Lords, Her Majesty’s Government are concerned that recent developments in Togo seriously undermine the chances of securing satisfactory conditions for the presidential election on 1st June. The United Kingdom has regularly raised these concerns with European Union partners. The United Kingdom fully aligns itself with the EU statement of 15th May which highlighted our concerns about governance and urged the Togolese authorities to create the right climate for democratic elections.

Lord Maclennan of Rogart : My Lords, I thank the noble Baroness for that reply. Is it not time that the European Union sought to galvanise the international community to promote the restoration of democracy for the 5 million Togolese people ? They have been suffering for over 35 years-longer than any other African country-under a brutal dictator who has murdered his political opponents, and imprisoned and tortured others. Is it not clear that Eyadema has deliberately flouted the call made by the European Union as early as February for a broad-based agreement between the political forces on the conditions for democratic elections ? Is it not also clear that the pending presidential election will be a sham and should not be dignified by the presence of French official observers ? Since the French Government have undoubted influence in Togo, do the Government believe that that nation will be prepared to work with its partners in the European Union to bring an end to these dreadful wrongs ?

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean : My Lords, I have a great deal of sympathy for the points made by the noble Lord, Lord Maclennan. There is no doubt that President Eyadema has broken his word, the word that he gave to President Chirac that he would serve only his current term and would not stand for election again. He has changed the law and effectively undermined all opposition in the country. I agree with a great deal of what the noble Lord has said.
The question here is what is the EU reaction. The United Kingdom will continue to work for a very robust EU position in the run-up to the election. We want an appropriate EU response in the light of the conduct of the election. It is no secret that different views are held within the EU on the strength of language to be used over Togo. We shall continue to argue for the use of very strong language over these issues, while no doubt others will continue to argue as they do at present.

Baroness Rawlings : My Lords, I am sure that the Minister is aware that when Togo launched into a two-week campaign for the presidential election on Friday 16th May, the main opposition candidate, Mr Gilchrist Olympio, was barred from standing for election due to changes made to the constitution in December 2002. Can the noble Baroness explain what role she might see for NePAD in monitoring free and fair elections in African countries such as Togo ?

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean : My Lords, we are aware of what happened to Mr Gilchrist Olympio and we deplore the fact that he was effectively ruled out of the running. The noble Baroness may be interested to learn that we remain in contact with the Togolese opposition, including Mr Olympio. It is important to make that point.

Of course NePAD has made good progress since its inception. We must try to ensure that those elements of the NePAD process dealing with good governance in Africa are applied to Togo and we must continue to argue in the way that I have indicated-I hope that the noble Lord, Lord Maclennan, was pleased with what I had to say-about the United Kingdom’s position on this issue in the European Union being a very forward one.

8 Sept 2003, Togo : EU Relations

Lord Maclennan of Rogart asked Her Majesty’s Government :

What is their position in discussions about the future relations of the European Union with Togo, following the recent presidential election in that country.

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean : We remain deeply worried about poor governance in Togo and have been active in ensuring that EU policy takes full account of this. We supported the most recent EU statement issued on 4 July, which highlighted serious concerns about events during the run-up to the 1 June elections, their conduct and subsequent events. The statement also called on the Togolese Government to commit themselves to an effective inter-Togolese dialogue.

EU aid to Togo has been suspended since 1993. We believe that the Togolese authorities need to take positive action to promote democratic principles before EU aid is resumed.

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