Rwanda Supreme Court Clears Kagame For Third Term

World Economic Forum on Africa 2009

The Rwandan Supreme Court has struck out a case against the third term bid of President Paul Kagame, effectively clearing the way for the for the president to run for a third seven-year term.

“The petition… has no basis and is hereby dismissed,” the country’s Chief Justice Sam Rugege declared while ruling on the petition brought by Green Party, a small opposition party.

“Denying the free will of the people to choose how they are governed is not democratic, rather it is the opposite,” the judge added.

    In June, the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front rose from a retreat to back a proposed constitutional change to allow Kagame seek a third term.

    “Based on the wishes of Rwandans and party members that have been recently expressed, we support that the (constitution) should be amended,” the party said, following a report that more than three million of the country’s 11.8 million people had signed a petition supporting the constitutional change.

    A referendum is now expected to be conducted, with Kagame widely tipped to have his way.

    Kagame is in his second and final tenure of seven years currently allowed by the constitution, having been re-elected by a landslide in 2010, and said he is open to the change, though he had in the past disagreed with calls for constitutional amendment.


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