Rwandans voted on Friday in a referendum on changing the constitution that would allow President Paul Kagame to extend his term in office, possibly until 2034, despite criticism of such an amendment by the United States and other Western donors. Kagame would be able to run again after his second mandate ends under the changes, which are expected to pass. Kagame, 58, has been president since 2000 but effectively in control since his rebel force marched into Kigali in 1994 to end a genocide.Full Article: Rwandans vote on constitution changes to let Kagame extend rule | Reuters.
Articles about voting issues in the Republic of Rwanda.
In her days as an active member of the Rwandan Patriotic Front, Eloise Umutoni did her best to show support for Rwanda’s ruling party and its leader, Paul Kagame. As a district-level party cadre, Umutoni was responsible for mobilizing youth in line with the RPF’s development agenda, widely considered to be one of the most ambitious on the African continent. By helping lead various government initiatives, from the monthly communal work program, umuganda, to a campaign to eradicate traditional thatched roof houses, she was the face of the RPF for the young people of her village, a cog in a party machinery that penetrates deep into rural Rwandan life. Come local or national elections, she would dress in the RPF’s red, white and baby blue, extolling the party’s role in Rwanda’s progress, and reminding voters what was expected of them. “I’m the one who told people, ‘You know who to choose,’ ” she said on a recent afternoon. “The RPF is like a family. And everyone understands they’re not supposed to vote against it.”Full Article: Paul Kagame: Rwanda's President for Life? | Al Jazeera America.
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.Full Article: Rwanda’s Electoral Commission Set to Hold Referendum.
Rwandan lawmakers approved a measure Tuesday that would pave the way for President Paul Kagame to seek re-election when his second term ends in 2017. Both houses of parliament voted in favor of a petition that calls for the removal of presidential term limits from the country’s constitution. A reported 3.7 million Rwandans signed the petition, more than 30 percent of the population. The proposal will now be taken up by a parliamentary committee. Kagame has effectively ruled Rwanda since the end of the 1994 genocide, and he won easy victories in the 2003 and 2010 elections.Full Article: Rwandan Lawmakers Back Move to Abolish Presidential Term Limits.
Rwanda: President Kagame’s Rwandan Patriotic Front party wins majority of seats in parliament | Associated Press
President Paul Kagame’s ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front party has won the majority of seats in parliamentary elections, an election official said. The election was free and fair, the head of the Rwandan Electoral Commission Kalisa Mbanda said late Tuesday, even though human right groups said opposition parties not allied to the Kagame’s RPF did not have fair conditions. The RPF won 40 of the 53 seats open to political parties. Rwanda’s lower house has 80 members but 27 seats are reserved for women, people with disabilities and the youth. Monday’s elections were Rwanda’s third legislative polls since the 1994 genocide that claimed the lives of more than 500, 000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus. Kagame led the Rwandan Patriotic Front to victory in Rwanda in 1994, ending the genocide and since then the RPF has dominated politics in Rwanda.Full Article: President Kagame's Rwandan Patriotic Front party wins majority of seats in Rwanda's parliament | Star Tribune.
Rwanda’s ruling party held onto power with a widely-expected landslide victory in parliamentary elections, provisional results showed on Tuesday, reinforcing President Paul Kagame’s grip on the country. The National Electoral Commission said Kagame’s Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) had won 76.2 percent of the vote with all ballots counted. Final results are expected on Thursday. Two decades after the 1994 genocide, the east African country has become a favourite with foreign investors under Kagame’s leadership. The order book for Rwanda’s debut eurobond in April was 8.5 times the $400 million sought, underscoring steady economic growth. But Kagame’s opponents have accused him of cracking down on political opponents and restricting press freedoms – allegations he dismisses.Full Article: Kagame’s party scores landslide win in Rwanda - RWANDA - FRANCE 24.
Rwanda: A Strange Electoral System For A Unique Country – Rwanda Votes For Parliament | International Business Times
A national parliamentary election began Monday in the East African country of Rwanda, and the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front, or RPF, is expected to maintain control over the national government. This is no ordinary election. Rwanda’s electoral process is unique, as is the East African country of 12 million, an international aid darling whose violent past has given way to dazzling economic growth and development, but whose repressive tendencies are frequently criticized by domestic dissidents and global human rights groups. Rwanda’s parliament is bicameral. The upper house — the Senate, with 26 seats — is indirectly elected by various political groups and institutions, while the lower house — the Chamber of Deputies, with 80 seats — has 53 members elected by the people, with 27 indirectly elected by special interest groups. Of those 27 seats, 24 are reserved for women, two are for young people and one must be filled by a disabled person.Full Article: Rwanda Votes For Parliament: A Strange Electoral System For A Unique Country.
The RPF-Inkotanyi has pledged more progress and dignity for Rwandans as it reached out to voters ahead of the September 16 parliamentary elections. Launching its campaign Monday, the ruling party, running alongside four other political parties, said it seeks to consolidate the country’s gains under RPF leadership and to fast-track the national development agenda. The party Chairman, President Paul Kagame, launched the RPF-led coalition legislative election campaign in Kamonyi District, Southern Province, in the presence of cheerful thousands of supporters, the New Times of Rwanda has reported. The RPF’s coalition partners include the Ideal Democratic Party (PDI), Parti Socialiste Rwandais (PSR), Parti du Progrès et la Concorde (PPC) and Centrist Democratic Party (PDC).Full Article: allAfrica.com: Rwanda Parliamentary Elections for September 16.
Rwanda’s Democratic Green Party said on Monday it will sit out September’s parliamentary election after the electoral commission took three years to register it, finally doing so just days before the deadline. Analysts say President Paul Kagame has a well-documented record of blocking, threatening or infiltrating rival parties to stifle even nascent political opposition, and that the belated registration of the Democratic Green Party can hardly be seen as a real opening of the democratic space.Full Article: Rwanda opposition party to sit out vote after late registration | Reuters.