The Struggle Over Term Limits in Africa: The Power of Protest

Submitted by jstewart on Tue, 02/25/2020 - 11:29
Resource Origin
Johns Hopkins University Press, Vol. 27, No. 3

The "constitutional coup d’état" has become an increasingly common tactic for leaders to secure their grip on power by overturning limits on presidential terms. This can be interpreted as a reversal of democratization on the African continent. Yet African populations have responded to these efforts by mobilizing en masse in order to voice their opposition and to defend their constitutions—in some cases facing violent crackdown. Ultimately, there is hope from below as opposition leaders, social activists, and ordinary citizens demand that their leaders adhere to democratic institutions—suggesting that the democratization process across Africa continues even as term limits come under threat.