Rwanda’s opposition Democratic Green Party has filed a lawsuit demanding the Supreme Court block any move by parliament to change the constitution to allow President Paul Kagame to run for a third term. Kagame, whose second seven-year term ends in 2017, has said he opposes the lifting of a two-term limit but is open to staying on if people convince him. Several politicians and other petitioners have called for a change. Reuters has full details:
The debate about term limits and challenges to veteran leaders have flared in several places in Africa. The United States and other Western nations have been pressing African leaders to stick to constitutional rules on presidential terms.
In next door Burundi, protests have rumbled on for more than a month with opponents accusing President Pierre Nkurunziza of violating the constitution by seeking a third term. Nkurunziza cites a constitutional court ruling saying he can run.Article 101 of Rwanda’s constitution says the president’s seven-year term can be renewed once and “under no circumstances” should a person hold the office of president for more than two terms.
“The Democratic Green Party of Rwanda demands the Supreme Court … to order the Rwandan parliament not to change Article 101 of the constitution,” the party said in a statement, saying the party filed its lawsuit on Wednesday. Kagame, who was elected in landslide elections in 2003 and 2010, has been seen as the country’s most powerful figure since leading rebels into the capital in 1994 to end a genocide that killed 800,000 mostly minority Tutsis as well as moderates from the Hutu majority.