President GNASSINGBE Eyadéma died on February 5, 2005 after ruling supreme for 38 years over his country and being viewed as immortal. The streets emptied and the markets closed when the news of his death was broken. The army in favour of the ruling party took advantage of the absence of the president of the Assembly to pronounce his son Faure GNASSINGBE president, which was not in conformity with the constitution. This triggered a general outcry among the opposition in Togo and the international community.
After several weeks of demonstrations he was urged to resign. Consequently the vice-president of the Assembly was chosen to lead the transition government. Elections were organised. The opposition said they were rigged, which gave rise to a rekindled movement of discontent. The demonstrations were violently suppressed by the army to bring order back thus sending thousands of refugees across the borders.