For all the uncertainty around Donald Trump’s election, one thing is clear: On January 20, 2017, Barack Obama will pass the baton to his successor. Jokes aside, Obama has never raised the prospect of extending his term. But around the world, if there is one place that democratic norms start to slide in crisis, it’s in using the power of the incumbency to hang on in office. Here are six countries with leaders who, despite popular opinion, have fudged democratic norms to stay in office.
6. Bolivia. Evo Morales was one of the earliest victims of 2016’s referendum fever. A vote to change the constitution to allow him to serve another term as president failed back in February. Now, Morales has seen the error of his ways: He’s decided to simply run again anyway, regardless of the term limits. His supporters say they’ll find a legal loophole for him, and no one should be surprised. Although the official limit is two terms, Morales is already on his third, having persuaded the Constitutional Court that an earlier round of constitutional changes mean he’s technically ruling a different country.
5. Malaysia. Prime Minister Najib Razak has taken one of America’s greatest political traditions—gerrymandering—and applied it with gusto at home. Elections in 2013 saw his party lose the popular vote but still hang on to parliament by careful selection of voting districts. And despite corruption allegations that would make Donald Trump blush, Najib has managed to stay one step ahead of the opposition. Anwar Ibrahim, a former ally turned opposition leader, just lost his final appeal against a conviction that prohibits him from holding office. Another opponent, Matathir Mohamad, a former prime minister and a towering political figure, has joined a movement against Najib, but it has not yet found a way to overcome the advantages of incumbency. Malaysian politics remain lively, but so far, despite poor polling and the taint of scandal, Najib has found a way to stay on top.