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Togo's parliament hastily amended the constitution Sunday to put a legal veneer on the military's appointment of 39-year-old Faure Gnassingbe to replace his deceased father as president, voiding the need for new elections until 2008.
The military, within hours of the announcement of Gnassingbe Eyadema's death on Saturday, named his son president, contravening the country's constitution that called for the speaker of parliament to succeed the head of state until elections could be held in 60 days.
The extraordinary session of the 81-member national assembly, dominated by Eyadema's ruling Togo People's Rally party, overwhelmingly approved Gnassingbe as speaker of parliament by a vote of 67 to 14. It then passed a constitutional amendment letting him fulfil his father's term, which expires in 2008.
Togo parliament amends constitution