Rwanda: opposition party petitions Kagame over third term

WE SHALL KEEP FIGHTING: Dr. Frank Habineza, President, Rwanda Democratic Green Party

WE SHALL KEEP FIGHTING: Dr. Frank Habineza, President, Rwanda Democratic Green Party

Days after losing a Supreme Court case to halt the possible change of the Rwandan constitution to allow President Paul Kagame to run for the third term, The Green Party, the only opposition party opposed to imminent change to the constitution and the third term has petitioned the president on the issue.

“As promised, we submitted our request to H.E the President of Rwanda, regarding the non-lifting of term limits. No more details will be shared,” Frank Habineza, Green Party President writes on his Facebook Page.

Green Party’s appeal to the president has shocked many in Rwanda and beyond given the fact that President Kagame, observers say cannot and will not have any mercy for Habineza and the Green Party simply because he is the beneficiary of the Supreme Court ruling and he hasn’t shown any signs of retiring in 2017.

Kagame however, did show some support for the Green Party as he wished them well and defended them on Twitter, when they first filed suit in the Supreme Court tweeting it was their constitutional right to do so.

“So, Frank Habineza lost his appeal to block the change of the Rwandan Constitution that will see presidential term limits lifted. He now plans to appeal to the President himself. I don’t know what to make of this. Determination or madness?” One Rwandan woman wrote on Facebook.

The Green Party is also planning to campaign around the country urging Rwandans to vote “No” in the forthcoming constitutional referendum, again analysts say this is a lost cause as majority of Rwandans seem to be supportive of amending the constitution and Kagame’s third term.

Currently the amendment process is ongoing and a special constitutional committee has presented its first draft which was unanimously passed by the lower chamber of deputies.

The Green Party is the only opposition organization to speak out and file suit against the controversial constitutional amendment that is posed to give Kagame a greenlight to pursue the third seven year term in office. Other opposition parties have publicly declared their support for changing the constitution and have petitioned parliament along with more than three million Rwandans to amend the 2003 constitution.

Green party executives are due to meet in Kigali tomorrow and subsequently hold a press conference on their next move.