Niamey (Agenzia Fides) - "The holders of power can abuse it and this is all the more true as their presence in power is long. This means that the wear and tear of power can lead to despotism, clanism and inefficiency", said the President of Niger Issoufou Mahamadou, at the National Democratic Institute (NDI) summit organized in Niamey to discuss the constitutional limitation of presidential mandates in Africa.
The Nigerian President compared the example of French Luigi Napoleone Bonaparte who, unable to modify the Constitution, proclaimed himself emperor with the name of Napoleon III, and that of South African Nelson Mandela, "a worthy son of Africa", who, despite the pressures received, decided to hold a single mandate when he could have claimed a life presidency.
The forum was attended by some former African Heads of State, Nigerian Goodluck Jonathan, Beninese Nicéphore Soglo, Liberian Amos Sawyer and Central African Catherine Samba Panza. In Africa, 35 Countries have limits to the presidential mandate in the Constitution (generally no more than two), 12 have no limits, 6 have abolished the limitation and 2 have modified the rule which provided for only two terms.
In the Countries that have removed the limit to the constitutional mandate, tensions have developed that have resulted in serious political crises, such as in Burundi. In the Republic of Guinea, President Alpha Condé, in power since 2010, is trying to amend the Constitution to obtain a further mandate.
The President of Niger instead reiterated that he will not seek a third mandate because "my most ardent desire is to transfer power in 2021 to a democratically elected successor". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 9/10/2019)