A new kind of African coup

Coups are traditionally thought of as being military take overs of a government, sometimes with bloodshed and violence. But this article posits, somewhat convincingly, that a new kind of coup is increasingly prevalent in African dictatorships: constitutional coups. Essentially, authoritarian leaders change the constitution to allow them to stay in power, thus affecting the same outcome of a coup, but using the law rather than the military. My eyes are especially watching Rwanda’s 2017 elections, as President Kagame (in charge since 1994) faces term limits for the first time.

Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguessou casts his ballot on October 25, 2015 in Brazzaville. People in the Republic of Congo began voting in a referendum today on whether longtime President Denis Sassou Nguesso can seek a third term in office that has sparked clashes in the oil-producing country.  AFP PHOTO        (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)

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