President Etienne Eyadema has agreed to a call from Togo's only political organisation, the Togolese People's Rally (RTP) for a referendum on the presidency.
President Etienne Eyadema has agreed to a call from Togo's only political organisation, the Togolese People's Rally (RTP) for a referendum on the presidency. The call came at a three-day congress of the movement, held at Palime, 75 miles (120 km) north of Lome, the Togo capital.
It was the movement's first congress since it was formed in response to an appeal by President Eyadema at Palime in 1969 for all Togolese to unite for the battle against underdevelopment. Its formation filled the vacuum left by the dissolution of political parties following the coup which brought General Eyadema to power in January 1967.
This film shows President Eyadema attending some of the public ceremonies which accompanied the three-day congress.
SYNOPSIS: In Togo, massive crowds gathered to welcome President Etienne Eyadema to a three-day congress of the political movement he founded, the Togolese People's Rally. The President opened the congress sat Palime, centre of a coffee and cocoa-producing region 75 miles north of the capital, Lome.
It was at Palime, two years ago, that President Eyadema called for the formation of the movement, so that all Togolese could unite in "one and the same melting-pot for the battle against underdevelopment". Influential traditional chiefs attended the congress, together with more than one thousand delegates from the country's 19 administrative districts.
The movement's central committee had called for a referendum on a new constitution with presidential and parliamentary elections. But an assembly of the traditional chiefs last month declared these recommendations premature, and said the congress should solemnly proclaim General Eyadema President.
The main recommendation of the congress was that a referendum should be held to confirm General Eyadema's position as held of state. At the closing ceremony of the three-day congress, the President announced that if the vast majority of the people confirmed the party's faith in him, he would continue to lead the affairs of the country through the years to come.
General Eyadema came to power in 1967. The referendum on his presidency is expected to be held next month.