Rwanda opposition to continue term limits push

Rwanda’s only opposition party has failed to stop the amendment of the constitution to remove presidential term limits.
The Supreme Court in Kigali on Thursday ruled in favour of changing the constitution, dismissing the case filed by the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda.
The decision reinforces the ongoing work by an independent commission to oversee the review of the constitution and determine which articles must be amended.
Rwanda was likely to have a referendum in the coming months, paving the way for the amendment of the constitution.
Following the ruling, the Green Party said it would consider other procedures like filing a case in the African Court on Human and Peoples Rights, as well as the East African Court of Justice.
Signed petitions
“According to Article 98 of the Rwandan Constitution, the President of the Republic is the Guardian of the Constitution and guarantor of national unity.
“The Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, will therefore, appeal to the President of the Republic to ensure the non-lifting of Presidential Term limits in the constitution,” said Mr Frank Habineza, the party President.
The party also plans to conduct a No Change campaign nationwide, sensitising Rwandans to oppose constitution amendment, in case of a national referendum, Mr Habineza added.
Rwandan legislators said the Bill was fast-tracked to meet the demands of over 4 million Rwandans who want to change the constitution, particularly to grant President Paul Kagame another term in office after his current mandate expires in 2017.
Over 3.7 million Rwandans reportedly signed petitions that were submitted to parliament, calling for the amendment of Article 101 to remove presidential term limits.