Thursday, February 10, 2011

African Leaders who have manipulated the constitution over the years to stay in Power.

FabAfriq dug into the annals of history to uncover constitutional changes made by African Leaders to 'eternalize' themselves power and we noticed that in Algeria, A constitutional amendment was passed by the Parliament in 2008, abolishing the two-term limit for rulers, allowing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to be re-elected. Bouteflika has had three five-year mandates, starting with his election in 1999. The next elections are due in 2014.

Meanwhile When President Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso reached the end of his first two seven-year terms in office in 2005, the constitutional council ruled that a 2000 amendment to the constitution limiting the president to two five-year terms did not apply to him since it took effect while he was president. This cleared the way for his candidacy in the 2005 election, which he won. Compaoré, who took power in a coup in 1987, was elected in 1991 and has been re-elected twice. In the presidential elections of November 2010, the incumbent won by a landslide


The National Assembly in Cameroon voted in 2008 to change the 1996 constitution to remove the limit of two presidential terms, allowing President Paul Biya to run for re-election in 2011. Biya assumed the presidency upon the resignation of his predecessor in 1982 and was subsequently elected (as the sole candidate) in 1984 and 1988. He was re-elected again in 1992 in the country’s first multiparty presidential election, then re-elected in 1997 and 2004. He is scheduled to run again for the 2011 presidential election.

In 2005, a referendum in Chad approved a change to the constitution removing a two-term limit, which allowed President Idriss Deby to run for a third term in 2006.Elected in 1996 after a new constitution, Deby was re-elected in 2001 and 2006. Next presidential elections are set for 2011.

In 2003, the constitution of Gabon was changed to allow President Omar Bongo approaching his fourth decade in power – to run for an unlimited number of terms. The change also increased term length from five to seven years. Omar Bongo took power in 1967 and was then elected in 1973, 1979 and 1986. A multiparty system was introduced in 1991, under which he was re-elected in 1993, 1998 and 2005. Bongo died in 2009 after 42 years in power, the world's longest-serving ruler.

The constitution of Namibia was also amended in 1999 to specifically allow President Sam Nujoma a third term. He did not run in 2004. Since the amendment applied only to Nujoma, later presidents have been limited to two five-year terms. Nujoma's successor, President Hifikepunye Pohamba, was elected in 2004.

The Niger 1999 constitution limited the president to two five-year terms and made amending that provision illegal. President Tandja Mamadou called a referendum on a new constitution on August 4. The new rules allow him to stay in power till 2012 and to run for office after that for an unlimited number of terms. After the Parliament and the Constitutional Court opposed the referendum, Tandja dissolved both and began ruling by decree. President Tandja Mamadou was elected to power in 1999 and reelected in 2004. In 2009 he was re elected again as President of that country.

President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria "Third Term Agenda" to have the constitution changed to allow him another run for the presidency was blocked by the Parliament in 2006. Presidents are still limited to two four-year terms. President Umaru Yar'Adua was elected in 2007. The next elections are expected to take place in 2011 with the incumbent being Goodluck Jonathan who took over as president when Umaru died in 2009.

In Togo Term limits were scrapped in 2002 to allow Gnassingbe Eyadama a third term. Gnassingbe Eyadama took power in 1967 and was elected in 1972, 1979 and 1986. He won the first multiparty presidential elections in 1993 and was re-elected in 1998 and 2003. After the death of President Gnassingbe Eyadama in February 2005, the army put his son Faure Gnassingbe into office. After an outcry, Faure Gnassingbe resigned and called an election, which he won.

In Tunisia After Zine El Abidine Ben Ali assumed the presidency in 1987, Tunisia's constitution was amended in 1988 to allow presidents no more than two terms. After Ali's first two terms in office, a new amendment in 1998 allowed a third term. Finally, in 2002, term limits were abolished altogether and the age limit raised to 75 (Ben Ali will be 73 in September). Ben Ali assumed the presidency in 1987, was elected in 1989 and re-elected in 1994 as the only candidate. Alternative candidates were allowed for the first time in 1999, but Ben Ali won with 99.66% of the vote in 1999 and with 94.48% of the vote in 2004 he was ousted by the people in January 2011.

The Parliament in Uganda removed the two-term limit from the 1995 constitution in 2005 as President Yoweri Museveni was reaching the end of his second term. The changes also introduced a multiparty system. Yoweri Museveni took power in 1986 and held elections, which he won, in 1996. He was re-elected in 2001 and 2006. Next elections are in 2011.

Frederick Chiluba of Zambia was elected in 1991 and re-elected in 1996. He wanted to run for a third term in 2001 but failed to win support for his bid to change the rules. The president is currently limited to two five-year terms. Chiluba’s successor, Levy Mwanawasa died in office in 2008. He was succeeded by his vice president, Rupiah Banda, who was then elected to the post in October of the same year. Next elections are to take place in 2011. Read more on our website www.fabafriq.com


From FabAfriq Magazine By VibeAfriq editor Mwalimu P. Bela.. follow us... www.fabAfriq.com

Have a nice day reading.
Post a Comment