Under heavy police guard, UFC party members gathered in a grand hotel in Lomé on Thuresday to hear Olympio’s plans to renew the leadership of the party.
"After 40 years of struggle and 50 of independence, the situation in our country demands from everyone a new political courage. We can again bring life to the dream born at independence," Olympio told his supporters.
Olympio called for a “profound revolution” in the party, which is deeply divided since members of the UFC joined the government of President Faure Gnassingbé in May.
Dissidents displeased by the move have broken away under the leadership of the party’s former presidential candidate Jean-Pierre Fabre.
On Tuesday, the police used tear gas to try and prevent the holding of a rival congress by Fabre’s supporters. They however managed to hold their congress in secret and announced that Olympio had been removed as head of the party.