Rwanda to organise national referendum over presidential term limit



A team of seven lawyers has been appointed by the Rwandan Cabinet to organise a national referendum over presidential term limit.

A government official said on condition of anonymity on Friday in Kigali that the seven members of the commission, nominated during a meeting chaired by President Paul Kagame, were to decide on whether or not to amend a restrictive law in a move to allow President Paul Kagame to run for a third term in 2017.

The official said among the seven members of the commission were former long-serving lawyers, academics as well as senior civil servants in the former and the current regime in Kigali.

Analysts pointed out that it would not be a hard task for the country to amend the constitution.

Analysts said because more than three million of Rwandan population have already signed a petition seeking to allow incumbent President Paul Kagame, to be reelected as candidate of the ruling Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) for the next election in 2017.

Analysts said the petition had pushed both Rwandan parliament and Senate to approve a new draft law on the general referendum, but that this was still pending to be signed by President Paul Kagame to be enacted into law.

The current Rwanda Constitution was promulgated in May 2003 during the referendum in which 42 per cent of Rwandan voters endorsed it.

They said the existing constitution emphasised on so many aspects of life which include, the need to prevent genocide, installing the rule of law, promoting equality among all Rwandans and power sharing between a semi-presidential and a two-chamber National Assembly.

Meanwhile, the political analysts say that it is not surprising that Kagame is being pushed to run for a third term, considering his popularity, especially because of the socio-economic progress made by the country under his rule.

Kagame is seen by most people as using his political agenda, popularity and achievements by strengthening national security and stability and also by attracting foreign investors.

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