Rwandans voted overwhelmingly to support changes to the constitution that would allow President Paul Kagame to extend his term in office, possibly until 2034, provisional results showed on Saturday. Kagame, 58, would be able to run again in 2017 after his second term ends. He has been president since 2000 but effectively in control since his rebel force marched into Kigali in 1994 to end a genocide. “The electoral commission declares in public that 98.3 percent of voting Rwandans accepted the constitution as amended in 2015,” National Electoral Commission chairman Kalisa Mbanda told a news conference after Friday’s vote. Mbanda rejected a statement issued on Friday by the local European Union delegation that there was no independent monitoring in place during the vote.Full Article: Rwandans approve extension of presidential term limits | Reuters.
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.
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.