Tenure of Presidents ECOWAS leaders drop third-term ban proposal

West African leaders have agreed to drop the proposal aimed at restricting Presidents in the sub-region to two terms in office.

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West Africa leaders at the ECOWAS summit in Accra, Ghana play

West Africa leaders at the ECOWAS summit in Accra, Ghana

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A plan to restrict West African presidents to two terms in office has been dropped for the time-being by heads of state.

They discussed the proposal to impose limits at a regional summit.

Togo and The Gambia, both with presidents who have been in power for more than two terms, opposed the idea.

At the ECOWAS summit held in Accra, the West African leaders discussed the proposal which was expected to formalize the two-term limit across the sub-region.

Burkina Faso's President Blaise Compaore was forced out of office last year after trying to change the constitution so he could run for a third term.

In East Africa, there have been weeks of protests and a failed coup after Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza announced plans to seek a third term in office.

The constitutions of most West African states already impose a two-term limit.

Togo's President Faure Gnassingbe has been in power since 2005 and won a third term in office last month.

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh is reaching the end of his fourth term in office after coming to power in a coup in 1994.

The UN representative in West Africa Mohammed Ibn Chambas backed the plan and said it had been triggered by the failed attempt by President Compaore to change the constitution to allow him to run for a third term.

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