Kagame rules out third term

2010-10-18 08:34

Kigali - Rwandan President Paul Kagame, fresh from his re-election in August, says he has no intention of altering the country's constitution so he can seek a third term in office.

"I have no need for a new mandate. What I need and what you need is to continue on the path of development," he said in a speech on Saturday to former senior officials in his government.

"Those who seek a third term, seek a fourth and then a fifth term," added Kagame in his address, two months after a crushing election victory.

Although he is embarking on a second term in office, Kagame has effectively controlled Rwanda since his rebel force ended the country's 1994 genocide. He took part in the first post-genocide government as vice president and defence minister.

Having been elected president by parliament in 2000, he won presidential elections in 2003, before cruising to a second term in August.

Kagame said it would be a mark of failure if he did not find a suitable replacement before the end of his mandate expires in seven years' time. Under Rwanda's constitution, a president can only serve two full terms.

"That (failing to find a successor) would be my failure and not yours. And it would not be a reason to seek a third mandate," he said.