From the 11th to the 16th centuries, various ethnic groups settled the Togo region. From the 16th to the 18th centuries, the coastal region became a major slave trading center and the surrounding region took on the name of "The Slave Coast." In 1884, Germany declared a region including present-day Togo as a protectorate called Togoland. After World War I, rule over Togo was transferred to France. French Togoland became Togo upon independence in 1960. Gen. Gnassingbe EYADEMA, installed as military ruler in 1967, ruled Togo with a heavy hand for almost four decades. Despite the facade of multi-party elections instituted in the early 1990s, the government was largely dominated by President EYADEMA, whose Rally of the Togolese People (RPT) party has been in power almost continually since 1967 and its successor, the Union for the Republic, maintains a majority of seats in today's legislature. Upon EYADEMA's death in February 2005, the military installed the president's son, Faure GNASSINGBE, and then engineered his formal election two months later. Democratic gains since then allowed Togo to hold its first relatively free and fair legislative elections in October 2007. Since 2007, President GNASSINGBE has started the country along a gradual path to democratic reform. Togo has since held multiple presidential and legislative elections deemed generally free and fair by international observers. Despite those positive moves, political reconciliation has moved slowly, and the country experiences periodic outbursts of violent protest by frustrated citizens. Recent constitutional changes to institute a runoff system in presidential elections and establish term limits has done little to reduce the resentment many Togolese feel after over 50 years of one-family rule.