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Gnassingbe Eyadema

President of Togo

Died when: 69 years 41 days (829 months)
Star Sign: Capricorn


Gnassingbe Eyadema

Gnassingbé Eyadéma (French pronunciation: ​[ɲasɛ̃ɡbe ɛjadema]; born Étienne Gnassingbé, 26 December 1935 – 5 February 2005) was the president of Togo from 1967 until his death in 2005, after which he was immediately succeeded by his son, Faure Gnassingbé.

Eyadéma participated in two successful military coups, in January 1963 and January 1967, and became president on 14 April 1967.As president, he created a political party, the Rally of the Togolese People (RPT), and headed an anti-communist single-party regime until the early 1990s, when reforms leading to multiparty elections began.

Although his rule was seriously challenged by the events of the early 1990s, he ultimately consolidated power again and won multiparty presidential elections in 1993, 1998 and 2003; the opposition boycotted the 1993 election and denounced the 1998 and 2003 election results as fraudulent.

At the time of his death, Eyadéma was the longest-serving ruler in Africa.According to a 2018 study, "Gnassingbé Eyadema's rule rested on repression, patronage, and a bizarre leadership cult."

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