Monday, February 13, 2012

Faure Gnassingbé

Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé (born June 6, 1966) has been the President of Togo since May 4, 2005. A son of President Gnassingbé Eyadéma, he was appointed to the government by his father, serving as Minister of Equipment, Mines, Posts, and Telecommunications from 2003 to 2005. When Eyadéma died on February 5, 2005, Gnassingbé was immediately installed as President with support from the army. Doubts regarding the constitutional legitimacy of the succession led to heavy regional pressure being placed on Gnassingbé, and he resigned on February 25. He then won a controversial presidential election on April 24 and was sworn in as President again.

Gnassingbé is also the National President of the Rally of the Togolese People (RPT).

Born in Afagnan in Lacs Prefecture, Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé was one of Gnassingbé Eyadéma's many children; his mother was Séna Sabine Mensah. Faure received his secondary education in Lomé before studying in Paris at the Sorbonne, where he received a degree in financial business management; he subsequently obtained a Master of Business Administration degree from The George Washington University in the United States. He was elected to the National Assembly of Togo in the October 2002 parliamentary election as a Deputy for Blitta, and in the National Assembly he was coordinator of the commission in charge of privatization.[citation needed] On July 29, 2003 he was appointed as Minister of Equipment, Mines, Posts, and Telecommunications, serving in that position until becoming President in February 2005.

Some in the opposition claimed that the amendment of the Constitution in December 2002, lowering the minimum age for the President from 45 years to 35 years, was intended to benefit Faure Gnassingbé. His appointment to the government in July 2003 came after he had already been appearing with his father at official functions and contributed to speculation that he was intended as his father's successor.

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