Rwanda’s Upper house of parliament unanimously approved a constitutional amendment to allow President Paul Kagame to seek a third term in office yesterday November 17th. The proposal have already passed through the lower house of Parliament in October.
Kagame ,57, who has been in power since 2000, won widespread praise for ending a genocide in 1994 of some 800,000 people, most of them Tutsis and moderate Hutus, and for rebuilding the nation.
Senate head Bernard Makuza said he expected the changes to be approved in a referendum, adding Kagame, whose current term ends in 2017, could run for another seven-year term and then two five-year terms, possibly keeping him in power until 2034.
“But it all depends on his will,” he told reporters after the unanimous vote.
Kagame has not said if he would run again, but has said he was open to persuasion.
“If i ran again, i would do more of what i am doing to improve the well-being of the citizens of Rwanda,” he said on his official twitter account.
According to Reuters, the opposition party, Democratic Green Party, tried to stop the amendments through legal action, but the Supreme Court rejected its bid, saying it was up to citizens to decide.
Frank Habineza, Democratic Green Party’s leader, told Reuters by telephone, that the senate approval would not deter his party from opposing the amendments.
“We will continue with our no-change campaign.”Habineza said.