Second president of Togo
(1963-1967), installed after the murder of his brother-in-law and rival politician Sylvanus Olympio
. Before independence, Grunitzky had been the first prime minister of autonomous Togo, taking office on 12 September 1956. After new elections in 1958 he was replaced on 16 May by his brother-in-law, Olympio.
Togo became independent in 1960 under Olympio's leadership. Grunitzky's Progress Party of Togo was barred from the 1961 election. Army mutineers seized power on 13 January 1963 and killed the president. They turned to the exiled Grunitzky, who was installed as acting president on 15 January, then officially elected from 5 May. As a southerner he sought to get a consensus government by taking northerner Antoine Meatchi as his vice-president; but rivalries between the two became severe.
He had appointed one of the coup leaders, Sergeant Etienne Eyadéma, as army head. Eyadéma, now a lieutenant-colonel, led another army coup on 14 January 1967, installing Kléber Dadjo as chairman of the military council before taking office himself in April.
Grunitzky was born in Atakpamé in 1913, of a Polish father, and died in a car accident in Paris in 1969.
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+ various wretched scraps