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Rwanda Kagame to run for a third term?

By on July 15, 2015

Rwandan Parliamentarians have voted to support a change to the constitution that would allow President Paul Kagame to stand for a third term in 2017.

Kagame, whose ruling party has controlled the country for the last decade, has not directly said he wants to run again.

But he has said he is open to persuasion that the two-term limit in the constitution needed to be changed, and a petition to that effect has collected 3.8 million signatures.

Supporters of the petition said Kagame was the right person to lead the population of 11.8 million.

In neighbouring Burundi, there have been violence clashes following a decision by President Pierre Nkurunziza to seek in a third term in elections next week.

The small opposition Green Party has been the only dissenting voice calling for the constitution not to be altered to allow for a third term, and petitioning instead for a single presidential term to be changed from seven to four years.

Kagame has won praise for the progress Rwanda has made since the 1994 genocide, when more than 800,000 mostly Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed. But critics accuse the president of trampling on media and political freedoms.

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