ECOWAS Leaders Disagree On Term Limit For Presidents | Independent Newspapers Limited
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ECOWAS Leaders Disagree On Term Limit For Presidents

Posted: May 20, 2015 at 12:57 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Heads of State at the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) summit in Accra, Ghana, on Tuesday, failed to reach an agreement on a plan to limit presidents of the sub0region to two term in office.

Togo and The Gambia, both with presidents who have been in power for more than two terms, opposed the idea.

Most countries in West Africa have a two-term limit for the president specified in their constitution.

Burkina Faso’s President Blaise Compaore was forced out of office last year after trying to change the constitution so he could run for a third term.

However, some West African leaders have argued that each country has a different political context and there cannot be a blanket ruling.

The United Nations West Africa representative, Mohammed Ibn Chambas, backed the plan and said it had been triggered by the failed attempt by Compaore to change the constitution to allow him to run for a third term.

However, the plan could not continue as Togo and The Gambia objected.

“This dissenting view became the majority view at the end of the day,” Reuters news agency quoted Ghana’s Foreign Minister, Hanna Tetteh, as saying.

The plan has been deferred for further consultation.

Togo’s President Faure Gnassingbe has been in power since 2005 and won a third term in office last month.

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh is near the end of his fourth term in office after coming to power in a coup in 1994.

Jammeh told the BBC in 2011 that presidents should be judged on what they do in power not by the length of time they have been in office.

“I will deliver to the Gambian people and if I have to rule this country for one billion years, I will, if Allah says so,” he said.