Why China’s removal of term limits is a gift to African despots


The two-term limit had been instituted in 1982 by Deng Xiaoping after his experience with the chaotic post-Mao succession.

Term limits were instituted to facilitate orderly succession and to support China’s reform era.

China’s economic transformation wasn’t to be disrupted or side-tracked by unnecessary political struggles and uncertainty.

Consequently, successive communist leaders have abided by this limitation.

And it has ushered in relatively smooth and carefully choreographed changes of leadership.

The broader implication of this announcement, critics fear, might be that it signals to African authoritarians to strengthen their grasp on executive office and push back on the need for leadership alternation.

In fact, observers are already pointing to the…

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