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Nigeria constitutional amendment allowing third presidential term proposed

[JURIST] The Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate [official website] introduced a proposed constitutional amendment Tuesday that would allow the country's president and state governors to seek a third term in office. Nigeria's constitution [text] currently permits two four-year terms, and if it remains unchanged the upcoming 2007 elections will provide the first handover of power from one civilian president to another as the result of a democratic election. Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo [official website; Wikipedia profile] was elected in 1999 following a 15-year period of dictatorship and opponents to the proposed amendment fear that its passage will lead the nation closer to dictatorship.

Deputy President Ibrahim Mantu [official website], who has led efforts to allow a third term, is being investigated on allegations that has received over $3 million US dollars in connection with the campaign to amend the constitution. Meanwhile, opponents of the amendment and political opposition leaders have been harassed and called a threat to national security. Reuters has more.

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