Petitions pile on as Rwandans register their support for Kagame’s third term bid

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UPSURGE IN PETITIONS: 2 MILLION Rwandans have petitioned parliament to debate constitutional amendment to lift term limits so President Paul Kagame can legally run for a third term in 2017

Over two million Rwandans have petitioned Rwandan Parliament to amend the constitution and lift the presidential term limits to permit president Paul Kagame to run for a third term, the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies in Rwandan Parliament Hon. Donatila Mukabalisa has said.

Mukabalisa was receiving another pile of signed petitions from Rubavu district in the western province at the parliamentary buildings in the Capital Kigali Wednesday.

There are at least 12 million Rwandans today and two million citizens have asked for the amendment of the constitution article 101, which provides for two seven-year presidential terms.

Mukabalisa said that “Residents have asked that the article be amended so that the president can lawfully run for the third term. This is their right as citizens and the response to their request will be considered by this chamber”.

For the last two years, President Kagame has been under pressure (both local and international media) 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 groundswell of petitioning for constitutional change.

Ordinary Rwandans as illustrated by the aforementioned petitions, grassroots leaders and top government official and surprisingly opposition politicians have publicly supported Kagame’s 3rd term bid.

In the past, Kagame has been on record castigating leaders in East and Central Africa, who have altered their respective countries constitutions to cling on to power but now it’s his turn to either honor Rwanda’s constitution and retire, or change it to extend his tenure in office.