New Times | Rwanda to Lift Term limits – Parliament Backs Constitutional Amendment

Posted July 14, 2015 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Rwanda to End Term Limits ~ 1,393 views



The two chambers of parliament, in separate sessions, this Tuesday backed the wishes of millions of Rwandans, and agreed to initiate the process to have article 101 of constitution amended to ensure President Paul Kagame continue to lead the country beyond 2017.

Over 3.7 million Rwandans from different backgrounds wrote to both the lower chamber and senate, asking for the initiation of the process to amend the constitution.

The senate endorsed the petitions by 23 out of 24 senators while the lower chamber, which had record 100 per cent turn up, had 79 lawmakers support the basis of the petitions while one vote was invalid.

During the sessions, several legislators said that the demands by the people was justified and that it was in order to have the process kick-started to ensure all obstacles to President Kagame’s continued leadership should be removed.

Thousands of Rwandans thronged the public galleries of both chambers, to witness firsthand, the debate.

The two chambers also resolved to kick-start countrywide consultations to gather more views on the issue and also consider updating the constitution by looking at all articles that may be outdated.

“This is a landmark in any democratic dispensation world over. Let us expeditiously look at ways of kick-starting the process, otherwise the people have clearly spoken, said MP Juvenal Nkusi.

During the session in the senate, Dr Jean Damascene Ntawukuriryayo said that President Kagame has personally shaped the country’s vision, and he is responsible for the inclusive policies that changed the country for better, saying that people’s sentiments are justified.

“He is the kind of leader we need for the continued development of our country,” said Ntawukuriryayo, a former president of the Senate.

Kagame is currently serving his second and last seven-year term in office, having first assumed the presidency in April 2000 during the transitional period, before going on to win the country’s first ever democratic election in 2003 and then getting re-elected in 2010.

According to Article 193 of the Constitution, a referendum on proposed amendment of the presidential term limits can take place after such a proposal has been backed by a three-quarter majority of either chamber of the bicameral Parliament.

Source — New Times of Rwanda

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