Rwanda votes yes to allow extra terms for Paul Kagame
Rwanda has voted to change the constitution to allow President Paul Kagame to potentially rule until 2034, according to partial referendum results, election officials said on Saturday.
“We have seen the will of the people. It’s clear that what the people want, they can achieve,” said National Electoral Commission chief Kalisa Mbanda, unveiling preliminary results from some 70 per cent of the country and announcing a ‘yes’ vote of 98.1 per cent.
The amendment allows Kagame to run for a third seven-year term in 2017, at the end of which the new rules take effect and he will be eligible to run for a further two five-year terms.
Kagame has run Rwanda since his ethnic Tutsi rebel army, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), ended a 1994 genocide by extremists from the Hutu majority.
On Friday, the EU delegation in Kigali said there had been a lack of “sufficient time and space for debate” on the issue.
The country’s tiny opposition Green Party also protested it was impossible to organise a counter campaign at such short notice.
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