On our December 17, 2014 Program:
"Constitutional Reform and Term Limits in Africa"
The constitution of a nation sets and sustains a foundation for democratic governance and provides a balanced distribution of power. But, it can also serve as a solution to political and developmental challenges. In October, Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore was forced to resign after a failed attempt to amend the constitution to extend his 27-year rule. Political observers say Burkina Faso is a symptom of a shift already happening across the continent. For years, African presidents have tinkered with constitutional term limits with few consequences. However, In Niger, in 2010, it was a military coup that ousted President Mamadou Tandja after he pushed through a constitutional referendum to extend his current mandate and remove term limits. In Senegal in 2012, it was the ballot box that ousted President Abdoulaye Wade as he sought a third term. He had changed the constitution during his first term, which he then argued didn’t count against the new two-term limit. Civil society and opposition politicians held months of sporadic protests – and Wade was voted out.
Join us for this live one-hour television and radio call-in simulcast when host Shaka Ssali and his guests discuss constitutional reform and term limits in Africa.
Kenneth Mwenda, Ph.D.
Adjunct Professor of Law at American University, Washington College of Law
New York University's Consultant for the Center on International Cooperation
Via Remote: United Nations
Question of the Week:
In your view, what are the fundamental issues that must be addressed when amending a constitution so that it reflects the will of the people?
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