Rwanda Senate Gives Green Light to Kagame 3rd Term

The Senate of Rwanda voted on Tuesday to pass the draft review of the National Constitution, information pills find allowing President Paul Kagame to stand for a third term in office after 2017, Chimp Corps report.

The draft amendments were in October passed by the lower house of parliament.

This means Rwanda will now go into a referendum for people to decide their future.

After today’s voting, Senate President Hon Bernard Makuza told the media in that “This Constitution Review does not only concern the Presidential term limits,” adding, “so many other articles were amended.”

During a previous debate, MPs decided to slash presidential terms to five years from seven with a limit of only two terms, but President Kagame was given an exception.

3.7 million Rwandans signed a petition calling for removal of term limits, saying they could not afford to risk the transformational path taken by President Kagame to rebuild the country.

The amended Article 172 of the Rwandan Constitution now allows President Kagame to seek a third term after the expiry of his current reign in 2017.

He can as well go for another 7-year term and more two five-year terms.

Some opposition figures and western countries have since expressed reservations about the amendment of the Constitution.

U.S. Department of State spokesperson, John Kirby said the super power does not “support those in positions of power changing constitutions solely for their political self-interest.”

He further said, “When a leader tries to change the rules in the middle of the game just to stay in office, it risks instability and strife – as we’ve seen in Burundi. And this is often just a first step down a perilous path.”

However, Kagame’s allies say he should stay around to consolidate the country’s achievements such as political stability, high economic growth, infrastructural developments and modern healthcare.

On his part, Kagame, who led the RPF guerrillas that stopped the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, maintains those who want him to stay must convince him.

“Those who want me to go, I have no problem with them…I am open to going and not going. I am listening. I need to be convinced to stay. Either side has good arguments,” said Kagame at the press conference in Kigali, Rwanda this year.

“When my time comes I will go. Term limits, change or not change should not be about me… Rwandans are not just like grass which you just burn. We are a proud people. Let us manage our business.”


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