Kagame faces opposition on third term bid

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NOT SO FAST: Dr Frank Habineza, Rwanda’s Green Party Chairman is openly opposing a possible alteration to the constitution

While many Rwandans including top politicians and cabinet ministers, and members of the opposition are openly endorsing President Paul Kagame for a third term in the forthcoming elections in 2017, the Green Party thinks Kagame should finish up his tenure and retire.

Dr. Frank Habineza, the chairman of the Green Party, one of the minor opposition parties in Rwanda, on Wednesday presented the party’s petition against possible amendment of the constitution to allow the president to run for the third term.

“The constitution should not be amended, and even if it gets amended, the term limit should stay and term length should be reduced from seven to four or five years”. Dr. Habineza told local press

Dr. Habineza and his party are also one of the first politicians to publically come out to oppose the third term bid which is currently picking up momentum in common folk talk and political gatherings across the country.

So far parliament has received close to three (3) million petitions in favor of the amendment of the constitution article 101.

The Parliamentary Outreach Department, says that over 30 different interest groups, including farmer’s cooperative societies, students, women, youth and religious groups have delivered petitions with over two million signatures to parliament, calling for a change to the Constitution.

Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame remains the ruling Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF)’s favourite candidate in the 2017 presidential elections and party members are intensely pushing for a Constitutional amendment to facilitate Kagame’s third term run.

For the last two years, President Kagame has been under pressure (both local and international) to state whether or not he will run for a third term in 2017 when his second tenure in office lapses.

Kagame has not unequivocally ruled out running, although he has stated he has no influence whatsoever in the ongoing third term movement.