President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said in order to avert cases of coup d’etats in the subregion, the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, must strongly consider outlawing third term bids by incumbents.
Akufo-Addo, who is the current chairperson of ECOWAS, made the proposition during an interview on Kumasi-based Ashh FM during the second day of his Ashanti Regional tour.
He was responding to a question about accusations that the bloc had done little to dissuade ousted Guinean leader Alpha Conde from tinkering with the Constitution to allow him to run for a third term but had gotten up in arms after the Mamady Doumbouya-led takeover.
“What I can say is that there will always be reasons for military intervention, but ECOWAS has agreed that at no point is a military intervention justified. We are opposed in principle to military interventions.
“That is not the reason why tax payers paid for them (the military) to be in uniforms and carry guns, (it is) not to turn it on the population. The population is capable of dealing with their issues through the ballot box,” he stressed.
On the subject of the third term, he described it as unfortunate but pointed out that Conde had acknowledged that there was the need for a process to allow him to run hence the referendum of 2000 which allowed him to seek another term.
“I think by this time part of the ECOWAS protocol on good governance outlaws the third term in any country. I feel strongly that it is something that we should do to prevent this kind of thing from happening,” he said.
He clarified that he was speaking in his personal capacity and not as the current chairperson. The president has had to deal with two coups in the last year – first in Mali and more recently in Guinea.
He was in Conakry where he unsuccessfully attempted to seek the release from detention of Conde, he was celebrated by Guineans who hooted at his Ivorian counterpart Alassane Ouattara – who also opted to run for a third term last year after his chose successor died.