Rwanda’s electoral commission says it is ready to hold next week’s national referendum that could allow President Paul Kagame to run for a third seven-year term in 2017. After that, he could also be eligible to run for two additional five-year terms. Kagame, 58, has ruled Rwanda since his army ended the 1994 genocide and ousted Hutu extremists from power. The referendum dates are December 17 for the diaspora and December 18 for Rwandans inside the country. Charles Munyaneza, executive secretary of the National Electoral Commission, said more than four million Rwandan voters requested the referendum, and the commission is only trying to fulfill its mandate to deliver a free and fair electoral process.
“When we talk about readiness in election management, we mean registration of voters, we are talking about the distribution of voters cards; we are talking about acquisition of election materials; we are talking setting up polling stations; we are talking about recruitment and training of election staff, including election volunteers, and of course we are talking about mobilization of voters to vote. So, we think we are ready,” said Munyaneza.
Rwanda’s small but main opposition – the Green Party – had said the commission did not allow enough time to educate Rwandans about the vote.
Full Article: Rwanda’s Electoral Commission Set to Hold Referendum.