Barack Obama in Africa: US president says he would win third term if he could run

President denounced African leaders - referencing Burundi - who extend their term limits beyond the constitution

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Barack Obama has said that if he could run for a third term as US president he would win, as he castigated African leaders who unconstitutionally extend their term limits.

Mr Obama claimed he was a “pretty good president” during an address to the African Union in Ethiopia as he continued his historic tour across the country and his father’s homeland Kenya.

“I actually think I’m a pretty good president. I think if I ran, I could win. But I can’t,” Mr Obama said on Tuesday. “There’s a lot that I’d like to do to keep America moving, but the law’s the law.”

The US leader’s remarks come shortly after Burundian president Pierre Nkurunziza won his third term in elections widely denounced as unconstitutional and shadowed by intimidation. International observers and the AU boycotted the election.

Mr Obama referenced Burundi during his speech – the first ever given by a sitting US president to the AU – and said that when a leader attempts to “change the rules in the middle of the game” it places a nation’s stability at risk.

"Nobody should be president for life," he told the crowd.

Many in the audience welcomed Mr Obama’s remarks, but journalists also noted the distinct absence of a number of African leaders.

Since his inauguration in 2008 Mr Obama’s popularity in the polls has waned. In the early weeks of his presidency he averaged in the high sixties, according to a Gallup rating. The most recent average puts the president’s approval rating at 46 per cent.