Rwanda Court Backs Third Term Bid

Rwanda’s Supreme Court has ruled in favour of changing the constitution and dismissed the case brought by the opposition Green Party protesting at moves to allow President Paul Kagame to run for a third seven-year term.

Rwandan president Pual Kagame.
Rwandan president Pual Kagame.

“The petition… has no basis and is hereby dismissed,” the AFP news agency quotes Chief Justice Sam Rugege as saying.

MPs agreed to change the constitution in July and to hold a national referendum on the issue.

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

Rwandan lawmakers have voted in support of a petition seeking to remove presidential term limits from the country’s constitution, which could extend President Paul Kagame’s time in office.

Kagame became president in 2000 and had been the country’s de facto leader since the end of the Rwandan genocide in 1994.

Kagame’s government is credited with turning around Rwanda’s economy in the years since the genocide, but critics say he is an authoritarian ruler who does not tolerate opposition.