Wednesday, 27 July 2011

President Jonathan proposes one-term presidency limit

Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan has announced he will put in a request with MPs to ament current constitution so that future presidents serve a single, longer term in office. At present the constitution limits presidents to two four-year terms.

Nigerian press has been speculating that the suggested amendment would allow Jonathan to extend his own term. Jonathan, however, has said that the change would would not come into effect before he steps down.

AFP news agency quoted the president as saying: "If the proposed amendment is accepted by the National Assembly, the president assures that he will not in any way be a beneficiary."

Jonathan did not give details about how long the new term should be, but stipulated that the changes would allow politicians to concentrate on governance rather than re-election. According to the BBC, the new term would most likely be for the period of six years.

Jonathan relseased a statement saying, he was "was concerned about the acrimony which the issue of re-election every four years generates". The statement also said: "The nation is still smarting from the unrest, the desperation for power and the overheating of the polity that has attended each general election."

It is estimated that as many as 500 people were killed in violent clashes following the announcement of April's election results, which Jonathan won with nearly 60 per cent of the vote.

Sources: BBC News, Reuters, AFP

For more news and expert analysis about Nigeria, please see Nigeria Focus and Nigeria Politics & Security.

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