IN case you missed it, Burundi looks set to scrap presidential term limits from its constitution.
A commission (CNDI) set up to canvass public views on the issue, has just reported that most citizens wanted no limits on the number of times the country’s may seek re-election.
Why does this matter? The central African nation has been gripped by violence for more than a year, triggered by President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision to seek a third term last year.
If this comes to pass, the country would take longer to stabilise, and violence could spiral.
Opponents said Nkurunziza decision, taken in April 2015, to run again was against the Arusha Peace Agreement that ended a decade of a deadly war and the constitution, which currently limits presidential tenure to two five-year terms.
Justin Nzoyisaba, chairman of CNDI, a commission set up by Nkurunziza last year to canvass public opinion on Burundi’s political system, said late on Wednesday that most Burundians wanted term limits abolished.
The majority of the people the commission met “want the president …to exercise more than two terms,” he told a news conference. “People said they have to erase the term limits; it means that the president can run for any time he wants.”
Burundi would be the latest in a growing list of African countries where term limits have been abolished or moves are under way as most incumbents appear unwilling to cede power after their terms approach their end.