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Estudios constitucionales

On-line version ISSN 0718-5200

Abstract

GRIJALVA JIMENEZ, Agustín  and  CASTRO-MONTERO, José-Luis. The evasion of presidential term limits in Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Bolivia. Estudios constitucionales [online]. 2020, vol.18, n.1, pp.9-49. ISSN 0718-5200.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-52002020000100009.

During the last decade, the Venezuelan, Nicaraguan, Ecuadorian and Bolivian governments pushed through several constitutional amendments attempting to remove presidential term limits. In this article, we reflect on how institutional settings helped or prevented presidents in eliminating constitutional term limits. We find that factors as hyper-presidentialism, lack of judicial independence and flexible rules for amending constitutions were instrumental for allowing the president to circumvent constitutional limitations and remain in office. The evasion of constitutional term limits can thus be seen as a way of collapsing democratic regimes.

Keywords : Presidential system; term limits; Latin America; democracy; constitutional amendment.

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