Rwanda’s opposition supports Kagame’s 3rd term, will contest 2017 election

President Paul Kagame of Rwanda

President Paul Kagame of Rwanda

The Liberal Party (PL), one of Rwanda’s opposition parties plans to contest the 2017 presidential election although they officially support possible amendment to article 101 of the Rwandan Constitution to lift the presidential term limits thereby paving way for incumbent President Paul Kagame to run for the third term.

Donatille Mukabalisa, the Vice President of the party said that their decision to support the lifting of the term limits doesn’t mean that the party will not have a candidate in the 2017 presidential polls.

“Supporting the amendment of the constitution doesn’t take away our right to choose whether to submit a candidate or not. We are to discuss this decision and if necessary we shall field one” Mukabalisa told the press Monday.

About three million Rwandans are reported to have already filed similar petitions to the House- which is now in recess but is expected to return for business on June 5, as soon as they report back to work debating the constitutional amendment is likely to be top on the agenda

Other political parties like The Social Democratic Party of Rwanda (PSD) have also joined the wave of supporting the referendum on the amendment of the constitution to allow President Kagame to run for another term.

The Green Party, led by Dr. Frank Habineza, is the only opposition political organization in Rwanda that has come out against the possible constitutional amendment and Kagame’s likely third term bid.

Currently, a Rwandan president is restricted to two, seven-year mandates, but President Paul Kagame remains the ruling Rwanda Patriotic Front’s favourite candidate in the 2017 presidential elections and party members have are aggressively pushing for the constitutional amendment to give allow him legal backing.