Rwanda's ruling party wants Kagame to run again

2015-06-15 22:06
Paul Kagame

Paul Kagame

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kigali - Senior members of Rwanda's ruling party have endorsed a change in constitution so President Paul Kagame can seek a third term in office, the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) said on Monday.

A bid by neighbouring Burundi's president to be re-elected to a third term next month triggered weeks of violent protests by opponents who said the move violated the constitution. But analysts do not anticipate a similar eruption in Rwanda if Kagame runs again, citing his stronger grip on power.

About 3.6 million people have signed a petition urging parliament to change the constitution but the effort has been tainted by media assertions that some of Rwanda's 11.8 million people were forced to do so by officials.

Rwanda's constitution limits presidents to two seven-year terms. Kagame, who was re-elected with a landslide in 2010, said in April that the constitution had been drawn up by the people and they would determine any changes to the charter.

Kagame has not said if he would support the move. In early April, he said he disagreed with initiatives to amend the constitution but was "open" to being convinced otherwise.

Critics accuse Kagame, 57, of trampling on media and political freedoms. But he has also won international praise for the progress made since the 1994 genocide toward transforming Rwanda into a middle-income country by 2020.

Burundi was racked by unrest after President Pierre Nkurunziza's announcement on April 25 that he would seek a third term. However, protests have largely died down in the approach to the July 15 presidential election.

The RPF issued a communique backing a constitutional change after about 600 high-ranking members held a two-day retreat on the outskirt of the capital Kigali this weekend.

"Based on the wishes of Rwandans and party members that have been recently expressed, we support that the [constitution]... should be amended," the communiqué said.

Kagame said local political leaders should not force anyone to sign the petitions. "If the allegations that some people have been forced are true, that's a concern and you should also have that concern," Kagame told RPF members.

Read more on:    paul kagame  |  rwanda  |  east africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
18 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.