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Presidential term limit needed!

Nov 15, 2011, 1:35 PM

It has become imperative in Africa, as seen in other countries elsewhere in the other continents such as South America, to have in place presidential term limits.  

A term limit is a legal restriction that limits the number of terms a person may serve in a particular elected office, for instance, as president.

When term limits are found in a presidential system, they act as a method to curb the potential for monopoly of power, where a leader effectively becomes “president for life’ or a king.

It is just like what is happening in Equatorial Guinea, where voters in that country early Sunday joined long queues to vote in a referendum on a new constitution that seeks to introduce a presidential term limit.

Even though the opposition described the process as a sham, since President Teodoro Obiang Nguema has ruled the oil-rich West African nation for over 30 years after overthrowing his uncle in a 1979 military coup, this latest development is highly welcomed.

Presidential term limits, most often two terms, are a common feature of democratic constitutions.

African politicians should subscribe to the importance of a two-term presidency.

Term limits offer a periodic guarantee of personal change, and thus enhance the possibility of change of the party in government.

This is significant, because power change is an important feature of a democratic polity.

Gambian politicians should give consideration to this important democratic principle, considering the importance of term limits.

The moment someone remains in power for a long time he or she, no doubt, might feel even more powerful than those who put him or her there.

The more people stay in power, the more they focus on their own self-centered desires, and the less able they are to see others’ perspectives.