President of Chad, Idriss Deby has announced his intentions to run for a fifth term in April’s elections.
Mr Deby took power in a coup in 1990 and later introduced elections. A referendum in 2005 scrapped a clause restricting presidents to two terms, but Mr Deby said that if he gets re-elected he will reinstate it.
Last year, countries like Burundi, Rwanda and Congo-Brazzaville have all changed their constitutions to allow their presidents to run for office again.
Mr Deby announced on Wednesday that reinstating term limits would provide “vitality” to the democracy.
“We must limit terms, we must not concentrate on a system in which a change in power becomes difficult,” he told the ruling party.In 2005 the constitutional reform was conducted in a context where the life of the nation was in danger,” he added.
Idriss Deby’s decision to seek re-election makes him join the list of Africa’s longest-serving leaders who include Equatorial Guinea’s, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo who has ruled for 36 years. He took power in a coup in August 1979
Next is Angola’s, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who took over after death of the country’s first president in September 1979. He has also been president for 36 years.
Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, has been president for 35 years since winning the country’s independence elections in April 1980. Paul Biya of Cameroon, took over after resignation of the country’s first president in November 1982. He has been president for 32 years.
With 31 years of ruling as president, Denis Sassou Nguesso of Congo, follows next. He was installed by the military in October 1979, out of power from August 1992-October 1997
Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni, became president after his rebel group took power in January 1986. He has ruled for 30 years and Chad’s Idriss Deby ruling for 26 years.