Ken Opalo provides the right data for Blaise Compaoré’s constitution-change attempt

The right data:

Since 1990, 11 countries in sub-Saharan Africa have had leaders try to rewrite their constitutions to do away with term limits. Seven 64 percent of these leaders succeeded Burkina Faso, Chad, Gabon, Guinea, Namibia, Togo, and Uganda. Three failed Malawi, Nigeria, and Zambia, in the face of erstwhile opposition from legislatures. In one instance – Niger in 2010 – attempts by President Mamadou Tandja to extend term limits resulted in a coup. In previous work, I found that the dominance of the president’s party in the legislature was a good indicator of the likelihood of term limit extension.

The right conclusion:

We should care because both theory and empirical evidence suggest that leadership turnover is good for institutional development, democratic consolidation, and political stability.

via As thousands protest against term limit extension in Burkina Faso, will other African presidents take note? – The Washington Post.

About mkevane

Economist at Santa Clara University and Director of Friends of African Village Libraries.
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