Niger’s Presidential Term Limits

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Until recently, things had been looking up for Niger. Europe provides the nation with quite a bit of dough. Uranium is being mined there. Money money money.

Alas, that money perhaps explains President Mamadou Tandja’s dissolution of parliament several months ago. There had been no perceived threat. There was just the institution itself. And it did not want to go along with Tandja’s no-term-limit notion.

So then the 71-year-old leader trotted out his constitutional revisions to the people themselves, in a vote held in early August. But a huge segment of the voting population didn’t trust the man. After dissolving parliament, the stink of a power grab was upon him.

Many, many Niger voters boycotted the referendum.

With voter turnout way down, Tandja’s revisions won. But with a parliament suppressed, a boycott in play, and “ruler for life” on everybody’s lips, the whole thing smells bad. A whiff of it even caught the jaded noses of America’s news hounds.

In America, when leaders seek to escape term limits, media folks too often seem to support them. But, about Africa, anyway, even America’s most elitist media mavens realize that an end to term limits is a move to dictatorship.

Yes, at least regarding African politics, virtually everyone in the U.S. can see that term limits are essential to democracy.

Not much of a bright side, but there it is.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

4 Comments so far ↓

  1. Aug
    21
    10:36
    AM
    rpu28

    The former president of Honduras, Mel Zelaya, was recently ousted by the legislature and supreme court of his own party. He had violated the Honduran constitution by attempting a referendum to end term limits(the ballots for which were supplied by his mentor, Hugo Chavez of Venezuela). So how did the US react to the Hondurans following their laws to reject strong-man socialism? The Administration and State Department have withheld financial aid, demanding Zelaya be reinstated. Contrast this with the lack of action on the obviously stolen Iranian election. Is this the new US policy; to support despots and would-be despots over a county’s laws?

  2. Aug
    21
    11:03
    AM
    Joanio

    Brings to mind the saying, “as plain as the nose on your face”. Too bad it’s so much easier to see someone else’s nose.

  3. Aug
    21
    12:51
    PM
    Unreconstructed

    its instructive that the boycott, i.e. passive opposition, led to an electoral victory. Alesson for those who choose to stay home and not vote!

  4. Aug
    21
    1:28
    PM
    Lyle R. Rolfe

    One must remember that in the U.S. the main stream media is in bed with the politicians, so if they are opposed to term limits, so are the median people who have this slobbering love thing going with the politicos. Unfortunately, by the time the media wakes up, there will be no newspapers for them to write for and maybe no TV news programs since they rarely present news anyway. Hopefully the people at Fox will still be around plus a few mags such as Newsmax plus the weekly newspapers who present the real news of their areas to readers instead of trying to be all things to all people and not doing a good job on any of it.

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