Publication
Title
Legal loopholes and the politics of executive term limits : insights from Burundi
Author
Abstract
The nomination of incumbent Pierre Nkurunziza to stand again for president in the 2015 national elections triggered a political and security crisis in Burundi. A crucial element in the controversy around his third term was the legality of his candidacy. This paper analyses how domestic and international actors responded to the legal loopholes that characterised Burundis term-limit legislation. Three responses are distinguished. First, quite paradoxically, an argument was put forward by third-term supporters that stressed constitutional legality, a value usually invoked by third-term opponents. Second, a peace agreement was referred to as a source of legitimacy and as a legal norm. Third, a Constitutional Court ruling was invoked to address the legal loophole. Despite the apparent irrelevance of legal norms in an increasingly authoritarian environment, law significantly shaped the dynamics of the third-term debate and of the wider crisis. The Burundi case also illustrates the limitations of constitutional engineering of democratic governance.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Africa spectrum / Institut für Afrikakunde [Hamburg]; Institute of African Studies [Hamburg] - Hamburg, 1966, currens
Publication
Hamburg : 2016
ISSN
0002-0397 [print]
1868-6869 [online]
Volume/pages
51:2(2016), p. 39-63
ISI
000388304400003
Full text (open access)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identification
Creation 03.10.2016
Last edited 09.07.2017
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