(CCTV – Africa) — “Leaders should never use undemocratic constitutional changes and legal loopholes to cling to power.”
That was the message by outgoing UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to the gathering of presidents at the ongoing 26th AU Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
“We have all seen the tragic consequences when they do,” he added.
The debate about term limits has gained momentum after triggering unrest in places such as Burundi and Congo Republic.
His remarks echoed those made by the US President Barack Obama in the same AU hall on his trip to Ethiopia in July, 2015.
One of the top items on this summit’s agenda is the crisis in Burundi, where violence erupted after President Pierre Nkurunziza announced his bid for a third term that opponents said was illegal.
Nkurunziza won a disputed election in July.
A constitutional change approved in a referendum in Rwanda means President Paul Kagame, who has been in office since 2000 and effectively in power far longer, can now run again in 2017 and could stay on until 2034 if he wishes, a move that has been criticized by the western powers.