Term limit

A term limit is a legal restriction that limits the number of terms an officeholder may serve in a particular elected office. When term limits are found in presidential and semi-presidential systems they act as a method of curbing the potential for monopoly, where a leader effectively becomes "president for life". This is intended to protect a democracy from becoming a de facto dictatorship. Sometimes, there is an absolute or lifetime limit on the number of terms an officeholder may serve; sometimes, the restrictions are merely on the number of consecutive terms he or she may serve.

History

Ancient

Term limits have a long history. Ancient Athens and Ancient Rome, two early classic republics, had term limits imposed on their elected offices as did the city-state of Venice.[1]

In ancient Athenian democracy, only offices selected by sortition were subject to term limits (one term of one year for each office, except members of the council of 500 (boule), where it was possible to serve two one-year terms, non-consecutively). Elected offices were all subject to possible re-election, although they were minoritarian, these positions were more prestigious and those requiring the most experience, such as military generals and the superintendent of springs.

In the Roman Republic, a law was passed imposing a limit of a single term on the office of censor. The annual magistratestribune of the plebs, aedile, quaestor, praetor, and consul—were forbidden reelection until a number of years had passed.[2] (see cursus honorum, Constitution of the Roman Republic). Also there was a term limit of 6 months for a dictator.

Modern

Many modern presidential republics employ term limits for their highest offices. The United States placed a limit of two terms on its presidency by means of the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution in 1951. There are no term limits for Vice Presidency, Representatives and Senators, although there have been calls for term limits for those offices. Under various state laws, some state governors and state legislators have term limits. Formal limits in America date back to the 1682 Pennsylvania Charter of Liberties, and the colonial frame of government of the same year, authored by William Penn and providing for triennial rotation of the provincial council, the upper house of the colonial legislature.[3] (See also term limits in the United States).

The Russian Federation has a rule for the head of state that allows the President of Russia to serve more than two terms if not consecutive (as in the case of Vladimir Putin). For governors of federal subjects, the same two-term limit existed until 2004, but now there are no term limits for governors.

Term limits are also common in Latin America, where most countries are also presidential republics. Early in the last century, the Mexican revolutionary Francisco Madero popularized the slogan Sufragio Efectivo, no Reelección (effective suffrage, no reelection). In keeping with that principle, members of the Congress of Mexico (the Chamber of Deputies and Senate) cannot be reelected for the next immediate term under article 50 and 59 of the Constitution of Mexico, adopted in 1917. Likewise, the President of Mexico is limited to a single six-year term. This makes every presidential election in Mexico a non-incumbent election.

Countries that 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 parliament, a period which could potentially last for life. Many parliaments can be dissolved for snap elections which means some parliaments can last for mere months while others can continue until their expiration dates. 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 the office holds reserve powers.

Types

Term limits may be divided into two broad categories: consecutive and lifetime. With consecutive term limits, an officeholder is limited to serving a particular number of terms in that particular office. Upon hitting the limit in one office, an officeholder may not run for the same office again (though he/she may run for any other elective office). After a set period of time (usually one term), the clock resets on the limit, and the officeholder may run for election to his/her original office and serve up to the limit again.

With lifetime limits, once an officeholder has served up to the limit, he/she may never again run for election to that office. Lifetime limits are much more restrictive than consecutive limits.

Notable examples

Relaxed term limits

Names indexed by surnames Image Countries and localities Official positions Earlier term limits Later term limits
Bloomberg, Michael Mayor Michael Bloomberg (cropped) United States; New York City Mayor (2002–13) 2 terms of 4 years 3 terms of 4 years from 2008 to 2010; 2 terms of 4 years since 2010
Cardoso, Fernando Henrique Fernando Henrique Cardoso (1994) Brazil President of Brazil (1995–2003) 1 term of 4 years 2 terms of 4 years since 1997
Chávez, Hugo Hugo Chávez (02-04-2010) Venezuela President of Venezuela (1999–2013) 2 terms of 6 years Unlimited terms of 6 years since the 2009 amendment of the 1999 Venezuelan constitution
Clinton, Bill Bill Clinton United States; Arkansas Governor of Arkansas (1979–81, 1983–92) 2 consecutive terms of 2 years 2 consecutive terms of 2 years until 1986, then 2 consecutive terms of 4 years
Chiang Kai-shek Chiang Kai-shek(蔣中正) China, Republic of (Mainland and Taiwan Eras) President (1948–49, 1950–75) 2 terms of 6 years Unlimited terms of 6 years since 1960[4]
Lukashenko, Alexander Alexander Lukashenko crop.jpeg Belarus President (1994–present) 2 terms of 5 years Unlimited terms of 5 years since 2004
Menem, Carlos Menem con banda presidencial Argentina President of Argentina (1989–99) 1 term of 6 years, re-eligible after 6 years 2 terms of 4 years, re-eligible after 4 years; Menem was banned to reelection in 1999 because his first term was counted as one of 4
Museveni, Yoweri Yoweri Museveni September 2015 Uganda President of Uganda (1986–present) 2 terms of 5 years Served 2 terms of 5 years before 1995 constitution imposed 2-term limit. Served 2 additional terms of 5 years; constitution was revised in 2005, removing term limits
Park Chung-hee Park Chung-hee 1963's South Korea President of South Korea (1962-1979) 2 terms of 4 years 3 terms of 4 years 1969-1972; unlimited terms of 6 years since 1972
Patton, Paul E. Paul E. Patton 2013 United States; Kentucky Governor of Kentucky (1995–2003) 1 term of 4 years 2 terms of 4 years
Perón, Juan Domingo Juan Domingo Perón Argentina President of Argentina (1946–55, 1973–74) 1 term of 6 years, re-eligible after 6 years Unlimited terms of 6 years. In 1973 he was elected to 1 term of 4 years.
Putin, Vladimir Putin with flag of Russia Russia President of Russia (1999–2008, 2012–present) 2 terms of 4 years 2 terms of 6 years since 2008
Rahmon, Emomali Tajikistan President of Tajikistan (1994–present) 1 terms of 5 years 1 term of 7 years since 1999, 2 terms of 7 years since 2003, term count reset in 2006, all term limits removed in 2016.[5][6]
Rhee Syngman Rhee Syng-Man in 1956 South Korea President of South Korea (1948-1960) 2 terms of 4 years Unlimited terms of 4 years since 1954
Sharif, Nawaz Nawaz Sharif January 2015 Pakistan Prime Minister of Pakistan (1990–93, 1997–99, 2013–2017) 2 terms of 5 years Unlimited terms of 5 years since 2011
Uribe, Álvaro Álvaro Uribe Velez (cropped) Colombia President (2002–10) 1 term of 4 years 2 terms of 4 years since 2004
Xi Jinping Xi Jinping October 2013 (cropped) (cropped) China; Communist Party President (2013–present) 2 terms of 5 years Unlimited terms of 5 years since 2018[7]
Yuan Shikai Yuan shikai China, Republic of (Beiyang Government) President (1912–15, 1916) 2 terms of 5 years[8] Unlimited terms of 10 years since 1914[9]

Tightened term limits

Names indexed by surnames Image Countries and localities Official positions Earlier term limits Later term limits
Brown, Jerry Edmund G Brown Jr United States; California Governor (1975–83) (2011–2019) No term limit 2 terms of 4 years
Castro, Raúl Raúl Castro, July 2012.jpeg Cuba; Communist Party President of Cuba (2008–2018) No term limit 2 terms of 5 years since 2013
dos Santos, José Eduardo José Eduardo dos Santos 3 Angola President of Angola (1979–2017) No term limit 2 terms of 5 years since 2010
Mugabe, Robert Mugabecloseup2008 Zimbabwe President of Zimbabwe (1987–2017) No term limit 2 terms of 5 years since 2013
Sall, Macky Macky Sall - 2008 Senegal President of Senegal (2012–present) 2 terms of 7 years 2 terms of 5 years since 2016
Santos, Juan Manuel Juan Manuel Santos in 2018 Colombia President of Colombia (2010–2018) 2 terms of 4 years 1 term of 4 years since 2018

People who would have run afoul of modern term limits

Names indexed by surnames Image Countries and localities Official positions Earlier term limits Later term limits
Ben-Zvi, Yitzhak Yitzhak Ben-Zvi Israel President of Israel (1952–63) No term limit 2 consecutive terms of 5 years from 1964 to 1998; 1 term of 7 years since 1998
Carmona, Óscar Carmona Portugal President of Portugal (1926–51) No term limit 2 consecutive terms of 5 years since 1976
Mitterrand, François Reagan Mitterrand 1984 (cropped 2) France President of France (1981–95) No term limit 2 terms of 5 years since 2008
Roosevelt, Franklin Delano FDR 1944 Color Portrait United States President of the United States (1933–45) No term limit Generally 2 terms of 4 years since 1951, but see Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution for details of even greater restriction.
Suharto President Suharto, 1993 Indonesia President of Indonesia (1968–98) No term limit 2 terms of 5 years since 1999
Tomás, Américo AmericoThomaz Portugal President of Portugal (1958–74) No term limit 2 consecutive terms of 5 years since 1976

See also

References

  1. ^ O'Keefe, Eric (2008). "Term Limits". In Hamowy, Ronald. The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism. The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE; Cato Institute. pp. 504–06. doi:10.4135/9781412965811.n308. ISBN 978-1-4129-6580-4. LCCN 2008009151. OCLC 750831024. ... Political scientist Mark Petracca has outlined the importance of rotation in the ancient Republics of Athens, Rome, Venice, and Florence. The Renaissance city-state of Venice [also] required rotation....
  2. ^ Robert Struble, Jr., Treatise on Twelve Lights, chapter six, part II, "Rotation in History." Archived 11 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Francis N. Thorpe, ed., The Federal and State Constitutions, Colonial Charters, and other Organic Laws..., 7 vols. (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1909) 5:3048, 3055–56, 3065.
  4. ^ Based on the amended Temporary Provisions Effective During the Period of Communist Rebellion until it was abolished in 1991.
  5. ^ Konstantin Parshin (23 April 2013). "Tajikistan: Can Rahmon Keep Running?". Eurasianet. Retrieved 23 May 2016.
  6. ^ Peter Leonard (23 May 2016). "Tajikistan Vote Allows President to Rule Indefinitely". ABC News. Retrieved 23 May 2016.
  7. ^ Liangyu, ed. (2018-02-25). "CPC proposes change on Chinese president's term in Constitution". Xinhuanet. Archived from the original on 2018-10-25. Retrieved 2018-10-25.
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ [2]

External links

1801 Tennessee gubernatorial election

The Tennessee gubernatorial election of 1801 took place from August 6 - 7, 1801. The incumbent governor, John Sevier, had reached his three consecutive term limit and had to wait until 1803 to run again. Democratic-Republican judge Archibald Roane won a term almost unanimously against scattering opponents.

1803 Tennessee gubernatorial election

The Tennessee gubernatorial election of 1803 took place from August 4 - 5, 1803. In 1801 Sevier was forced leave office as he had reached his three consecutive term limit and in 1803 ran against the incumbent governor, Roane, and defeated him with 57.93% of the vote. This was the first gubernatorial election that did not unanimously elect a governor.

1940 Philippine constitutional plebiscites

A plebiscite on June 18, 1940 to ratify the following amendments to the Constitution: tenure of the President and the Vice-President was four years with reelection for another term; establishment of a bicameral Congress of the Philippines, with the Senate as the upper house and the House of Representatives as the lower house, and the creation of an independent Commission on Elections composed of three members to supervise all elections and plebiscites.

1996 Zambian general election

General elections were held in Zambia on 18 November 1996 to elect a President and National Assembly. They were boycotted by the main opposition party, the United National Independence Party, together with five other allied parties, following changes to the constitution which they failed to have reversed following a court challenge. The changes imposed a two-term limit on the presidency, required presidential candidates to be born to two Zambian citizens by birth or descent, and required National Assembly candidates to give up their chieftaincy. UNIP believed these changes were specifically aimed at their longtime leader, Kenneth Kaunda, whose parents were Malawian and had previously served as the country's first president from 1964 to 1991. The changes would have also excluded UNIP's vice president, a chief. Subsequently, the ruling Movement for Multi-Party Democracy won a comfortable victory in both elections, taking 131 of the 150 elected seats in the National Assembly, and its candidate, Frederick Chiluba, winning 73% of the vote in the presidential election.

Out of about 4,500,000 eligible voters, only 2,267,382 million registered. Amongst registered voters, turnout was 58%.

2007 San Antonio mayoral election

On May 12, 2007, the city of San Antonio, Texas, held an election to choose who would serve as Mayor of San Antonio for a two year term to expire in 2009. Incumbent mayor Phil Hardberger won over 77 percent of the vote, securing re-election to a second and final two year term. (Term limits were relaxed from two two-year terms to four two-year terms starting with the 2009 election, however such relief does not apply to those who have already been elected to an office in which the two term limit applies.)

2009 Venezuelan constitutional referendum

The 2009 referendum was a vote in which the citizens of Venezuela approved Amendment No. 1 (Enmienda No. 1) of the Constitution of Venezuela; this abolished term limits for the offices of President, state governors, mayors and National Assembly deputies.

The current constitution, enacted in 1999 by referendum, previously established a three-term limit for deputies and a two-term limit for the other offices. The proposed amendment was put to a referendum on 15 February 2009 and endorsed by 54% of the electorate, with approximately 70% of registered voters participating.

2010 Wyoming gubernatorial election

The 2010 Wyoming gubernatorial election was held on Tuesday, November 2, 2010 to elect the Governor of Wyoming, who will serve a four-year term to begin in January 2011. Party primaries were held on August 17.

While it was initially thought that term limits would prevent incumbent Democratic Governor Dave Freudenthal from running for re-election, the constitutionality of the term limit law has been questioned, leaving the possibility that if Freudenthal had successfully challenged the law, he might have been able to run for a third term. On March 4, 2010, Freudenthal announced he would not run for a third term.Republican candidate Matt Mead defeated Democratic candidate Leslie Petersen in the general election.

Freudenthal won all counties in 2006, this was reversed in this election when Mead won all counties.

2012 Senegalese presidential election

A presidential election took place in Senegal on 26 February 2012, amidst controversy over the constitutional validity of a third term for incumbent president Abdoulaye Wade. In the runoff on 25 March, Macky Sall defeated the incumbent president. The 2015 documentary film Incorruptible chronicles both campaigns as well as the youth movement Y'en Marre, which led protests against Wade's administration.

Constitution of Burundi

The Constitution of Burundi was adopted by referendum on February 28, 2005 and promulgated on March 18, 2005.

On May 12, 2017, a draft revision of the constitution of Burundi was announced. The final draft was announced on October 25, 2017, and provides for the creation of a post of Prime Minister, the transition from a five-year to a seven year presidential term, the term limit will be one consecutive and the threshold of adoption of the laws would go from two thirds to the absolute majority. With these changes, the Arusha Accords are de facto abrogated. In January 2018, during the campaign for the referendum, the Burundian authorities arrested opponents of the changes. Finally, the text also provides for the possibility of restoring the monarchy.The referendum was held on May 17, 2018. The constitutional reform was promulgated on May 21, 2018.

Elections in Cameroon

Elections in Cameroon gives information on election and election results in Cameroon.

Cameroon elects, on a national level, a head of state - the president - and a legislature. The president is elected for a seven-year term by the people; a two-term limit on the office was removed through a parliamentary vote in April 2008. The National Assembly (Assemblée Nationale) has 180 members, elected for a five-year term in 49 single and multi-seat constituencies.

Cameroon is a one party dominant state with the Cameroon People's Democratic Movement in power. Opposition parties are allowed, but are widely considered to have no real chance of gaining power.

Independent candidates are barred from running in parliamentary and municipal elections. They are permitted to run in presidential elections, but there has never been an independent presidential candidate due to the very exacting legal requirements for an independent candidacy.

Elections in Mauritania

Prior to the coup d'état of August 2005, Mauritania was a one party dominant state with the Democratic and Social Republican Party in power. Opposition parties were allowed, but widely considered to have no real chance of gaining power.

Mauritania elects on national level a head of state - the president - and a legislature. Prior to 2006, the president was elected for a six-year term by the people, with no term limits; following the constitutional referendum of June 2006, presidential terms are now five years, with a two-term limit and a maximum age limit of 75. The Parliament (Barlamane/Parlement) has one chamber. The National Assembly (Al Jamiya al-Wataniyah/Assemblée Nationale) has 81 members, elected for a five-year term in single-seat constituencies.

Government of Louisville, Kentucky

The government of Louisville, Kentucky, headquartered at Louisville City Hall in Downtown Louisville, is organized under Chapter 67C of the Kentucky Revised Statutes as a First-Class city in the state of Kentucky. Created after the merger of the governments of Louisville, Kentucky and Jefferson County, Kentucky, the city/county government is organized under a mayor-council system. The Mayor is elected to four-year terms and is responsible for the administration of city government. The Louisville Metro Council is a unicameral body consisting of 26 members, each elected from a geographic district, normally for four-year terms. The Mayor is limited to a three consecutive term limit, while members of the Louisville Metro Council are not term limited.

Governor of Illinois

The Governor of Illinois is the chief executive of the State of Illinois, and the various agencies and departments over which the officer has jurisdiction, as prescribed in the state constitution. It is a directly elected position, votes being cast by popular suffrage of residents of the state. The governor is responsible for enacting laws passed by the Illinois General Assembly. Illinois is one of 14 states that does not have a gubernatorial term-limit. The governor is commander-in-chief of the state's land, air and sea forces, when they are in state service.

The current governor is Democrat J. B. Pritzker, who took office on January 14, 2019.

Governor of Nebraska

The Governor of Nebraska holds the "supreme executive power" of the U.S. state of Nebraska as provided by the fourth article of the Nebraska Constitution. The current office holder is Pete Ricketts, a Republican, who was sworn in on January 8, 2015. The current Lieutenant Governor is Mike Foley, who also assumed office on January 8, 2015.

Governors of Nebraska must be at least 30 years old and have been citizens and residents of the state for five years before being elected. Before 1966, the governor was elected to a two-year term. The state constitution was amended in a 1962 referendum so that beginning with the 1966 election, the governor would be elected to a four-year term; in 1966, this was further amended to place a term limit of two consecutive terms. The lieutenant governor is subject to the same limitations and runs on a combined ticket with the governor. Governors are limited to two consecutive terms but there is no limit on the total number of terms one may serve.

If the governor becomes incapacitated or is out of the state, the Lieutenant Governor acts as Governor; if there is a vacancy or permanent incapacitation, the Lieutenant Governor becomes Governor. However, if both offices become vacant, the next person in the line of succession is the Speaker of the Nebraska Legislature.

Governor of New Hampshire

The Governor of New Hampshire is the head of the executive branch of New Hampshire's state government.

The governor is elected at the biennial state general election in November of even-numbered years. New Hampshire is one of only two states, along with bordering Vermont, to hold gubernatorial elections every two years as opposed to every four. Currently, the state's 82nd governor is Republican Chris Sununu, who has served since January 5, 2017.

In New Hampshire, the governor has no term limit of any kind. No governor has served more than three terms since the 18th century (when the term was for only one year) with the exception of John Lynch, who won an unprecedented fourth two-year term on November 2, 2010. John Taylor Gilman had been the last governor before Lynch to serve longer than six years, serving 14 one-year terms as governor between 1794 and 1816.

Unlike in many other states in which Executive Councils are merely advisory, the Executive Council of New Hampshire has a strong check on the governor's power. The five-member council has a veto over many actions of the governor. Together, the Governor and Executive Council approve contracts with a value of $5,000 or more, approve pardons, and appoint the directors and commissioners, judges, the Attorney General and officers in the National Guard.

The governor has the sole power to veto bills and to command the National Guard while it is not in federal service.

To be qualified to be governor, one must be 30 years of age, a registered voter, and domiciled in New Hampshire for at least seven years.

Mayor of New York City

The Mayor of the City of New York is head of the executive branch of the Government of New York City. The mayor's office administers all city services, public property, police and fire protection, most public agencies, and enforces all city and state laws within New York City.

The budget, overseen by New York City Mayor's Office of Management and Budget, is the largest municipal budget in the United States at $82 billion a year. The city employs 325,000 people, spends about $21 billion to educate more than 1.1 million students (the largest public school system in the United States) and levies $27 billion in taxes. It receives $14 billion from the state and federal governments.

The mayor's office is located in New York City Hall; it has jurisdiction over all five boroughs of New York City: Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Staten Island and Queens. The mayor appoints a large number of officials, including commissioners who head city departments, and his deputy mayors. The mayor's regulations are compiled in title 43 of the New York City Rules. According to current law, the mayor is limited to two consecutive four-year terms in office but may run again after a four year break. It was changed from two to three terms on October 23, 2008, when the New York City Council voted 29–22 in favor of passing the term limit extension into law. However, in 2010, a referendum reverting the limit back to two terms passed overwhelmingly.The current mayor is Democrat Bill de Blasio, who was elected on November 5, 2013 and reelected to a second term on November 7, 2017.

Montana Legislature

The Montana State Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Montana. It is composed of the 100-member Montana House of Representatives and the 50-member Montana Senate.The Montana Constitution dictates that the legislature meet in regular session for no longer than 90 days in each odd-numbered year. The primary work of the legislature is to pass a balanced biennial budget which must then be approved by the Governor. If the Governor vetoes a bill, the legislature may override the veto by a two-thirds vote.Since the beginning of statehood for Montana, the Legislature has been split along party lines fairly consistently and evenly. Since adoption of the current state constitution in 1972, which mandated single-member legislative districts for the first time in the state's history, the Montana Senate has been controlled by Democrats in nine sessions, and Republicans in 13 sessions. During the same period, the Montana House has been controlled by Democrats in eight sessions and Republicans in ten sessions with two ties. According to state law, in the instance of a tie, control goes to the party of the sitting Governor. The 65th Legislature (2017–2018) is controlled by the Republican Party with the House having 59 Republican members and 41 Democratic members, and the Senate having 32 Republican members and 18 Democratic members.Members are limited to serving no more than eight years in either chamber, but the term limit is consecutive, not lifetime.The Montana State Legislature meets in the state capital of Helena.

Politics of Houston

The politics of Houston in the U.S. state of Texas are complex and constantly shifting in part owing to the fact that the city is one of the fastest growing major cities in the United States and that it is the largest without zoning laws. Houston was founded in 1836 and incorporated in 1837. The city is the county seat of Harris County. A portion of southwest Houston extends into Fort Bend County and a small portion in the northeast extends into Montgomery County.

The city of Houston has a strong mayor–council government. The City's elected officials, serving four-year terms, are: the mayor, the city comptroller and 16 members of the city council. Under the strong mayor-council government, the mayor serves as the executive officer of the city. As the city's chief administrator and official representative, the mayor is responsible for the general management of the city and for seeing that all laws and ordinances are enforced.

As the result of a 1991 referendum in Houston, the two-year term was amended to elected officials who can serve up to three terms until 2015 where the three-term limit and two-year terms were replaced with a two four-year terms – a mayor is elected for a four-year term (previously the mayor, controller, and councilmembers are elected to a two-year term prior to the November 3, 2015 city elections), and can be elected to as many as two consecutive terms. City council members, who also have a three-term limit, are elected from eleven districts in the city, along with five at-large council members, who represent the entire city. Term limits with the City of Houston are absolute – past elected officeholders are prohibited from campaigning for their former council positions (which includes the mayor and city controller). The current mayor of Houston is Sylvester Turner.

The city council lineup was based on a U.S. Justice Department mandate which took effect in 1979. Under the current city charter, when the population in the Houston city limits passed 2.2 million residents, the nine-member city council districts expanded to include two more city council districts. The municipal elections held on November 8, 2011, included the newly formed Districts J (located in the Greater Sharpstown area) and K (a section of Southwest Houston, Reliant Park, and Fort Bend County located within the Houston City Limits) where 2 candidates won over 50% of the vote. Houston is a home rule city and all municipal elections in the state of Texas are nonpartisan.Many local lawmakers have been impacted by the city's term limits. Several former city officials—Anthony Hall, Rodney Ellis, Sheila Jackson-Lee, Sylvia Garcia, Martha Wong, Chris Bell, Annise Parker, Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, Adrian Garcia, Ed Gonzalez, and Mike Sullivan—, chose to run for other elected positions once their terms expired or shortly before they were due to expire.

Former mayor Lee P. Brown denounced the term limits, saying they prevented incumbents from gaining enough experience in city government. A proposal to double the current two-year term of office has been debated—as of 2005, several candidates for the city council have brought up the issue of whether term limits should be amended or eliminated. Some elected officials from the Greater Houston area within the Texas Legislature—primarily Garnet Coleman and Sylvester Turner—have also spoken out against term limits. In 2010, a term limits review commission appointed by former mayor Bill White called for amending the city charter on extending term limits where elected officials could serve two four-year terms; the proposal failed 8.18.10 after the Houston City Council voted 7–7. The November 3, 2015 City of Houston municipal elections a referendum on the voter ballot have amended the term limit law where elected officials can serve two four-year terms - this measure does not abolish term limits nor have a reeligibility provision for past elected officeholders who served their full tenure under the 1991 term limit ordinance. Incumbents who have won re-election during the 2015 election under the three-term rule - those who served 2 are granted an additional 4 years while a freshman councilmember are granted their 2 additional terms - this means that some elected officials can hold up to 10 years in office (if a freshman councilmember who served during their 2014-16 term) or 8 years in office (for those elected in 2011 and re-elected to their final term).

Houston is considered to be a politically divided city whose balance of power often sways between Republicans and Democrats. All City of Houston elected officials run on non-partisan ballots but may have declared allegiances to a political party. The city has elected (as of 2017) Democratic mayors since 1982 but the city council has been much more divided. The affluent western-central portions of Houston—such as River Oaks and the Memorial/Spring Branch area, as well as master planned communities of Kingwood and Clear Lake City—consistently vote Republican, while many of the inner city areas, Neartown, and Alief—are heavily Democratic. According to the 2005 Houston Area Survey, 68 percent of non-Hispanic whites in Harris County are declared or favor Republicans while 89 percent of non-Hispanic blacks in the area are declared or favor Democrats. About 62 percent Hispanics (of any race) in the area are declared or favor Democrats. The city has become the most ethnically diverse city in the United States with immigrants from all over the world, adding a unique dimension to the city's politics. As of 2017 approximately 28% of the city's population is immigrants and there is no single identifiable ethnic group that holds a majority in the city.

Term limits in the United States

Term limits in the United States apply to many offices at both the federal and state level, and date back to the American Revolution.

Term limits, also referred to as rotation in office, restrict the number of terms of office an officeholder may hold. For example, according to the 22nd Amendment, the President of the United States can serve two four-year terms and serve no more than 10 years.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.