13 November, 2006

Term limit

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"Term limits have a long history — Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, two early civilizations which had elected political offices, both imposed limits on some positions. In ancient Athenian democracy, no citizen could serve on the boule more than twice, or be head of the boule more than once. In the Roman Republic, a law was passed imposing a limit of a single term on the office of Censor.

Many modern presidential republics employ term limits for their highest offices. The United States, one of the first states of the modern era to have elected political offices, has a limit of two terms on its presidency, and on a number of other political offices as well (such as state governors). Formal limits date back to 1776, when limits were placed on serving as Governor of Delaware. (See also term limits in the United States). Term limits are also common in Latin America, where most countries are also presidential republics. In some countries, such as Mexico, it is strictly forbidden for a person to serve as president on more than one occasion, even if one of the appointments was only temporary.

Countries which operate a parliamentary system of government are less likely to employ term limits on their leaders. This is because such leaders rarely have a set 'term' at all — rather, they serve as long as they have the confidence of the legislature, a period which could potentially last indefinitely. Nevertheless, such countries may impose term limits on the holders of other offices — in republics, for example, a ceremonial presidency may have a term limit, especially if it has reserve powers."

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