Respecting and Circumventing Presidential Term Limits in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Comparative Survey

Submitted by jstewart on Tue, 02/25/2020 - 10:50
Resource Origin
African Affairs

This article offers a survey of the empirical reality of term limits in Sub-Saharan Africa and the political dynamics surrounding them, followed by an analysis of the incumbency bias. Reyntjens found that when term limits are observed, they help ensure power transfers across the government by removing the incumbency advantage of the ruling party. This article also examines the cost-benefit calculations that presidents engage in when deciding to stay or to go. It finds that the outgoing president is generally not influenced by domestic protest and international pressure. The article finally makes clear that political paths across Africa are very divergent, a feature also seen in the longevity of presidents.