EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Legal Loopholes and the Politics of Executive Term Limits: Insights from Burundi

Stef Vandeginste ()

Africa Spectrum, 2016, vol. 51, issue 2, 39-63

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 Burundi’s 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.

Keywords: elections/voting; term of office; political unrest; constitutions; peace treaties (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016-09
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://journals.sub.uni-hamburg.de/giga/afsp/article/view/976 (application/pdf)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:gig:afjour:v:51:y:2016:i:2:p:39-63

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
http://www.giga-hamburg.de/afrika-spectrum

Access Statistics for this article

More articles in Africa Spectrum from Institute of African Affairs, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Andreas Mehler (). This e-mail address is bad, please contact .

 
Page updated 2018-07-28
Handle: RePEc:gig:afjour:v:51:y:2016:i:2:p:39-63