#Article (Archive)

Know When to Go

Feb 17, 2009, 4:51 AM

[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 [if gte mso 10]> Hugo Chavez is not only a wonderful leader to the people of Venezuela he has also been a great friend to The Gambia. His socialist policies have lifted millions of his people out of poverty and many Gambian students have been educated through Venezuelan scholarships. Despite all these things the news that he has won the referendum allowing him to seek re-election on as many occasions as he pleases is simply bad news for democracy. The two-term system employed by the United States and many other countries around the world, whereby a person can only seek two terms or stay in power for a set number years, is the best system in international politics. It ensures that new ideas to benefit the people of the nation are introduced on a regular basis and prohibits people from becoming too comfortable in power or with the lifestyle that comes with power. No man or woman has all the answers so the people should be allowed on a regular basis to a change of personnel at the head of their country.

We have seen far too often over the years that when people stay in power for too long they fall victim to its corrupting influence. They feather their own nests and cling jealously to the power they have come to regard as their own. This is very unhealthy for democracy.

Once again we reiterate our undying support for President Hugo Chavez and the wonderful work he is doing with his nation's oil revenues in alleviating poverty but we also beg him to revisit this referendum result and allow his people to elect a successor after a set amount of time or a set number of terms.