Presidential Term Limits and the International Community
Proposed changes to presidential term limits are almost always highly contested and have attracted international and regional attention. A central question that faces the external actors is the extent to which it is legitimate to take a position in presidential term limit debates. This chapter considers the policy concerning presidential term limits of three major IGOs, the UN, the AU, and the OAS. It further discusses the way in which IDEA, an IGO with a softer mandate, has responded to the debate on term limits, as well as the role of the Venice Commission, ECOWAS, DRI, the Carter Center, and the West African Civil Society Forum (WACSOF). This review suggests an increasing international consensus that, in countries with a history of authoritarianism and weak democratic institutions, presidential term limits can play an important role in strengthening democratic processes and reducing the likelihood of conflict.