BERLIN, Germany, February 4, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Minister of State Cornelia Pieper met with Prime Minister Kwesi Séléagodji Ahoomey Zunu of the Togolese Republic for talks today (1 February). In their talks, Minister of State Pieper called upon Ahoomey Zunu to adhere to principles of democracy and the rule of law, and to respect human rights. After the meeting she issued the following statement:
The domestic situation in Togo is troubling to us. There is a crisis of confidence between the government and the opposition. It is vital for Togo’s future that free and fair parliamentary elections be carried out on 24 March of this year.
Prime Minister Ahoomey Zunu has assured me that the Government of Togo is committed to democratic and rule of law principles and will respect human rights. We agreed that democracy is a difficult learning process and that the government and the opposition must cooperate in the interest of a democratic future for Togo.
I congratulated Togo on its foreign policy engagement. By deploying troops to Mali, Togo is contributing to the restoration of security in West Africa and the Sahel.
Togo began the process of democratization after the 2005 death of military dictator Eyadéma Gnassingbé. By 2012 Togo had carried out economic and political reforms, and Germany resumed its development cooperation with the country.
The domestic political dialogue has stagnated since summer of 2012; demonstrations have become a regular occurrence, and individuals have been arrested in the course of the protests.