Rwandans vote on third Kagame term

KIGALI - Rwandans are voting in a referendum on a constitutional amendment to allow President Paul Kagame to seek a third term in office.

Most voters, some 6.4 million, are eligible to vote on Friday, but around 37,000 Rwandans living overseas were able to have their say on Thursday.

The change would allow Mr Kagame to potentially remain in power until 2034.

Rwandans are expected to vote overwhelmingly in favour of changing the constitution.

People have been steadily streaming in to Rugunga polling station close to State House in Kigali. It is a streamlined and efficient process. Several classrooms in the school here are being used for the ballot, so waiting times do not seem long. The only excitement is the music playing on the speakers put up.

There has been no campaigning in this referendum - the law does not allow it. Public rallies have been carried out around the country to give people information about the ballot. The government views this as a national non-partisan exercise. Blue, yellow and green colours of the Rwandan flag can be seen everywhere including around the polling booths.

Mr Kagame is praised at home and abroad for bringing about development and economic growth, but his critics accuse him of heavy-handed rule and human rights abuses. The president himself has said he will wait for the outcome of the referendum before making his decision on whether to run in 2017.

Comments (1)

This is democracy dying and being stolen by these greed African dictators . If he loves his country he should just stick to the constitution and if he thinks people still like him wait for one term and contest again . He is showing his dictatorship . We don't need that kind of leadership in the new Africa , lets stop amending presidential terms lets stick to them .ICHO

Mudhara - 18 December 2015

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.