Togo's parliament has voted unanimously to abolish the death penalty. The vote was witnessed by Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. He has been campaigning for a global moratorium on the death penalty as a first step towards its total abolition.

Togo will hold presidential elections between 18 February and 5 March, 2010, a statement by Aboudou Assouma, chairman of the Constitutional Court, issued on Thursday in Lomé said.

With Africa once again experiencing unconstitutional takeover of power as witnessed recently in Mauritania, Guinea and Madagascar, Nigeria has won against a similar development in Togo. The warning was issued by Foreign Affairs Minister Ojo Maduekwe, who has just returned from a fact-finding mission to Togo, which is embroiled in what the Minister termed ''leadership tussle epidemic''.

The government estimates that nearly 180,000 people in Togo are HIV-positive as of 2008 – about 3.2 percent of the population. Some 60 percent are women, and almost 13,000 are children under 14. In December 2008, one month after the government made life-saving antiretroviral medication (ARV) free, IRIN met with some people living with HIV in the capital Lomé.

This year’s first-time fee waivers for primary and pre-school students in Togo have swelled enrolment, raising questions about how schools will fund additional classroom space, teachers and school supplies. Education experts said the government should have planned better before lifting school fees. Until this year, male students paid up to US$4 per year and female students about half that.