Rwanda President to Decide on Third Term After National Refurendum


Rwanda Presiden Paul Kagame will decide whether to run for a third term in power after a national referendum which will ultimately decide his eligibility.

Presidents in the country are currently limited to a maximum of two five-year terms, but constitutional changes were unanimously voted in favour of by the Cabinet. The changes mean Kagame could now serve another two terms as President and lead the country until 2034.


Kagame yet to announce his intentions

Kagame has refused to clarify his intentions, insisting that the will of the people will guide any decision he makes. Public support for his stay in power has been widespread too – at least according to a petition, reportedly signed by 3.7 million Rwandans, demanding the president be allow to continue his rule.

Lawmakers have been unanimous in their support of the move as well. The necessary changes to the amendment passed with  no opposition and all that stands in Kagame’s way now is a national referendum.

The referendum which is expected to take place in the coming months will pose a single question, approved by the president, to voters. There will be two answers to choose from: yes and no.


Kagame addresses critics

While criticism remains eerily quiet in Rwanda, Kagame’s potential third term is causing concern on the international scene. The US has criticised the move on a number of occasions and urged Kagame to step down at the end of his second term.

The president had a response for his allies in the US: “We can be good friends, we can agree to disagree but there is a line when it comes to the interest of Rwandans,” he told FPR leaders. “Our actions don’t correspond with the wishes of other nations.”


Featured image:

Paul Kagame, 2009 World Economic Forum on Africa” by Copyright World Economic Forum / Matthew Jordaan – Africa as the World’s potential Breadbasket – World Economic Forum on Africa 2009. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.