Ghana’s president calls on ECOWAS to address term limit extensions as coups ravage West Africa
Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo has called on the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to speak against the extension of presidential term limits by some leaders looking to strengthen their grip on power.
According to him, the extension of term limits by heads of states “tend to result in discontent amongst the populace, which create fertile grounds on which military interventions disingenuously feed”.
His comment comes as the region, plagued with the threats of terrorism, is now attempting to address political instability as coups spread.
Akufo-Addo made the remarks when he addressed the 2nd ECOWAS Parliamentary Seminar in Ghana on September 29, under the theme, “Challenges Relating to Unconstitutional Changes of Government and Presidential Term Limits in West Africa - Role of the ECOWAS Parliament.”
Over the past three years, central and western Africa has experienced eight military takeovers, including Burkina Faso, Guinea, Sudan, Mali, and until recently, Niger and Gabon, with experts raising fears of more to follow.
Akufo-Addo charged the participants to propose measures to ensure the anchoring of democratic and republican values, both at the level of political elites and citizens of the Community, and added that “any attempt at the manipulation of opinion and of the rules of the democratic game for partisan political ends always leads to a loss of legitimacy, which is reflected in the social tensions it creates.”
In his opinion, adherence to this will ensure that we do not “give up when it comes to guaranteeing the democratic integrity of our respective countries, where we should have governance systems based on the separation of powers, which are free from corruption, and are respectful of the rule of law, individual liberties, human rights, the principles of democratic accountability and social justice.”
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