Preventing Deviations from Presidential Term Limits in Low- and Middle-Income Democracies

Submitted by jstewart on Tue, 02/25/2020 - 14:04
Resource Origin
Pardee RAND Graduate School

These three papers examine the broader theme of deviations from presidential term limits. The first paper uses event study analysis to demonstrates the negative political effects of term limit deviations. To reduce these negative consequences, this paper recommends that low- and middle-income democracies prioritize the respect for presidential term limits in their domestic policy agendas to protect political rights and civil liberties and reduce corruption.

The second paper is a case study of Colombia and and Venezuela. It identifies continued adherence to presidential term limits as a crucial factor in paving the path to prosperity for Colombia, whereas their absence in Venezuela led down a road to ruin.

The third paper evaluates a set of relevant historical cases using a qualitative comparative analysis method to determine which institutions have been associated with the successful prevention of term limit deviations in the past. The findings of this study suggest that governments and civil society organizations in low- and middle-income democracies that want to protect term limits, as well as their high-income donors, should make promotion of the independence and strength of national legislatures their priority, in addition to supporting independent judiciaries, electoral commissions, and strong opposition parties.