Opposition Green Party can challenge 3rd term campaign, says Kagame

Frank Habineza (suit) President of the Democratic Green Party with Party members outside Rwanda’s Parliament
Frank Habineza (suit) President of the Democratic Green Party with Party members outside Rwanda’s Parliament

President Paul Kagame has said it is a ‘good thing’ for the opposition Green Party to file a law suit against a request by Rwandans pushing parliament to amend article 101 of the constitution to allow him to run for third term.

In his tweet today at 1:35 am local time, Kagame said “They are exercising their right…the Green Party, good thing.”

Yesterday, the Democratic Green Party, an opposition party in the country filed a lawsuit to Supreme Court, demanding the court to block parliament from lifting presidential term limits to allow Kagame to run for another term.

President Kagame’s term of office ends in 2017. However, more than four million Rwandans have flocked parliament with signed petitions pushing for the constitutional amendment to keep Kagame in office.

Despite pressure from Rwandans on Kagame to stay, the President has remained categorical on the matter.

Speaking to journalists during a monthly press briefing at his office in April this year, Kagame said that he has never lost sleep over the matter.

“I want to do my business for which the Rwandans entrusted me to do and when am done I will be done…I can continue to serve my country in very different ways,” he said.

Rwandans say Kagame has given them peace, security and prosperity and thus should stay.

The speaker of parliament, Donathile Mukabarisa, told journalists that parliament is set to launch a debate between June 5 and August 4, where lawmakers will debate on the amendment as demanded by the petitioners.

Article 101 of the constitution stipulates that the President of the Republic is elected for a term of seven years renewable only once.”

Last week, Democratic Green Party President Frank Habineza was hosted on the state television and expressed his Party’s side on the matter.

In a communiqué he issued after filing suit at Supreme Court yesterday, Habineza said that, “The Democratic Green Party of Rwanda demands the Supreme Court to order the Rwandan Parliament not to change Article 101 of the Constitution; to confirm that no referendum is required for those wishing to remove term limits from the Constitution,”

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