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Citizen's Campaign for Term Limits

The Citizens' Campaign for Term Limits, which began in September 2022, consists of launching mobilization activities in several African countries to sensitize African opinions on the issue of democratic transitions, to bring ECOWAS to take measures to ensure that the principle of limiting presidential terms to two in a lifetime is a constraint in each state. It also aims to obtain the commitment of African heads of state who are serving their second term or who have served more than two terms not to stand for another term.

This campaign follows several specific actions carried out by Tournons La Page and its partners, such as the organization of a West African Citizens' Summit on good governance, alternation and democracy in July 2021 in Cotonou, as well as the presentation of the "term limit's stick" - the symbol of the campaign logo - to Presidents Patrice Talon of Benin and Mokgweetsi Masisi of Botswana.

This campaign takes the form of activities and events with civil society, meetings with heads of state, and extensive ongoing communication about the results of these actions. It mobilizes the national coalitions of Tournons La Page but also civil society organizations working on the theme of democratic transitions in Africa, former heads of state who have observed the constitutional limit of two terms, opinion leaders (renowned artists, intellectual and academic circles, journalists, etc.) and influential actors in multilateral cooperation. The goal is to mobilize opinions and bring African organizations to make the necessary reforms to meet the aspirations of African populations and democratic principles.

From the beginning, the campaign has made news and demonstrated its importance: the concert that was supposed to announce its launch in Dakar was banned by the Senegalese authorities, for "risk of disturbing public order". Authorities who know that President Macky Sall is tempted by a third term, despite the limitation imposed by the Senegalese Constitution. Thus, about forty press articles have publicized this ban. Since then, several activities have consisted of highlighting democratic alternation in each country: the launch of a song for term limits, a report on civic space and violations committed since 2017 in Togo, against the backdrop of President Faure Gnassingbé's 5th term in office, or the assessment of Cameroonian President Paul Biya's 40 years in power.

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A study on ECOWAS is also being prepared by one of our partners. The conclusions and recommendations will be presented at the summit on term limits that should be held in late summer 2023.