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The Politics of Presidential Term Limits$
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Alexander Baturo and Robert Elgie

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198837404

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198837404.001.0001

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Continuismo in Comparison

Continuismo in Comparison

Avoidance, Extension, and Removal of Presidential Term Limits

(p.75) 5 Continuismo in Comparison
The Politics of Presidential Term Limits

Alexander Baturo

Oxford University Press

The subject of this chapter is continuismo—the practice of avoidance, extension, and outright removal of presidential term limits across the world. Drawing from original data on presidents who practiced continuismo from 1945 until 2017, the chapter builds a ten-point comprehensive typology and survey of practices that enable presidents to remain in office beyond their constitutionally allotted time, ranging from temporary extensions to presidency for life. This typology also includes cases wherein presidents do not violate term limits as such and depart formally from office while remaining influential behind the scenes and ruling through so-called “placeholders”. The chapter also discusses the consequences of continuismo and finds that “extenders,” on average, achieve their goals and serve longer than otherwise. Arguably, continuismo does not pay, since the majority of “extenders” suffer from a negative exit from office later on.

Keywords:   presidential term limits, continuismo, survival in office, presidentialism, constitutional amendments, democracy

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