The United Kingdom has joined United States in criticizing Rwanda’s referendum which saw majority of Rwandans decide to extend President Paul Kagame’s term of office, salve http://chelseamamma.co.uk/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/class.jetpack-network-sites-list-table.php saying more time was needed for people to appreciate the entire process.
“I acknowledge the broad participation of the Rwandan people in the referendum and its outcome, cheapest http://colombiareports.com/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-post-comments-list-table.php ” said UK Minister for Africa, about it James Duddridge in a statement seen by ChimpReports on Tuesday.
“However the way in which it was conducted has damaged Rwanda’s international reputation. The short timeframe between the announcement of the referendum and the vote did not allow sufficient time for voters to consider and debate the proposed changes and for the case for and against to be made.”
James observed that a copy of the revised constitution was only made available less than one day ahead of the referendum. Government officials this week said several delegations of leaders moved across the country to sensitize the people about the referendum and collect their views.
At least three million people petitioned Parliament to amend the law to allow President Kagame run for a third term, The referendum allows Kagame stand for another 7-year term and two more of five years each, according to officials.
The criticism comes against the background of President Kagame’s warning that the country would only accommodate only helpful advice.
Kagame observed that participation in the recent Referendum was massive with majority voting “Yes”. Tens of thousands voted “No”, he added.
To dismiss criticism of constraints on political space, Kagame said, “Our democracy is stronger because we have continued to define ourselves, and refused to be distracted. Frankly, what was at issue has been resolved.”
He added: “Second, it is a privilege and a duty to serve Rwanda, not an entitlement. No individual is there forever, but there is no term limit on values, institutions, and progress.”
The referendum allows Kagame stand for another 7-year term and two more of five years each. This means if elected for those three terms, he would rule up to 2034.
The UK said it believes that a leader who willingly cedes power and enables a peaceful and democratic transition will always be held in high regard by both their people and the rest of the world.
“Changing the constitution for the benefit of the incumbent risks serious damage to long-term stability and Rwanda’s reputation as a world leader,” said James.
However, addressing the national dialogue on Monday, the president said, “When the time comes to transfer responsibility from one public servant to another, Rwandans already have confidence that it will be done in the orderly and harmonious manner which we expect and indeed require.”
Meanwhile, UK recognized Rwanda’s extraordinary economic development and stability which it said are rightly held in high regard at home and overseas.
“The UK is proud to have helped Rwanda achieve this. The referendum and the elections in 2017 mark a critical juncture in Rwanda’s history. It is vital that issues of such importance are debated freely and without fear.”
Rwanda President Paul Kagame has ruled out the possibility of his country contributing troops to the proposed African Union military contingency force for the peacekeeping and stabilization mission in the strife-torn Burundi, medications http://coparmex.org.mx/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-direct.php Chimp Corps report.
“We have no extra capacity to pass around to people who don’t even want it, viagra 40mg http://chelseamamma.co.uk/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-posts-list-table.php ” said Kagame in a veiled reference to Burundi’s public opposition to deployment of the AU force.
“We have enough troops to be deployed for peacekeeping anywhere in the world and defend our country, http://cyancdesign.com/wp-admin/includes/class-bulk-upgrader-skin.php but we will not be part of that (AU force).”
Addressing a press conference in Kigali on Tuesday afternoon, Kagame said his contribution to the stabilization of Burundi would be non-military and that it would be “given when it is required.”
The turmoil in Burundi after President Pierre Nkurunziza thought a contested third term has left hundreds dead with African Union warning that any delayed intervention could see a genocide in the troubled country.
Burundi said it would not accept any military intervention on grounds that its armed forces were capable of enforcing order.
Reacting on reports that Rwanda is arming rebels in Burundi, Kagame said such talk is mere politicking “without the tiniest of evidence.”
“We spoke out on what was happening in Burundi because it was taking many lives. It could spillover to us. In one way or another Burundi situation affects us so we had to speak out,” said Kagame as he gave background to the conflict.
Kagame said his government talked to its Burundian counterparts who said “there was not problem in Burundi.”
He added: “We said we have refugees here. May be the failure to realize that there is no problem is the problem.” He said the people of Burundi must find solutions to their problems. Over 72,000 Burundian refugees live in Rwanda.