Kagame: I Am For Change In 2017 geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 115%;”>Kagame, order whose Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) guerillas toppled the genocidal regime of Juvenal Habyarimana in 1994 and also won international admiration for turning around the country from blood and ashes in the wake of the genocide, is being asked by his party supporters to seek another term in office.

Some members of RPF have also publicly asked for the amendment of the Constitution to allow Kagame “continue fostering development and security.”

However, critics have since maintained that amending the Constitution would take Rwanda government a step back on its democratic credentials and also deny Kagame a “Mandela status” if he embraced another term.

Speaking to print and radio broadcast editors on Saturday; Kagame said although there were diverging views on the issue, his stand was for change, continuity of progress and stability.


“I will respect the constitution and the people who put it in place. If democracy is about the respect of the people, then I believe that the will of the people should be respected,” said Kagame.


“However, I am not inclined to any views myself, I am only supposed to do the job that I am mandated to do until 2017.”

He added: “If you say democracy is what is in the interest of the people, then their interests should be respected.” In this statement, Kagame probably hinted on the need to respect people’s decision to amend the Constitution.

But he emphasized: “I will respect the law and the people who put the law in place. I have no special rights to power; I found myself in a situation and managed it the best way I could.”

Analysts say Kagame is torn between two worlds – either to respect the Constitution as his desire or stand again in fulfillment of people’s wishes who would want to see him carry on as President.

Speaking to journalists in Kigali in February, Kagame noted: “I don’t want a third term in office. I want to carry out my responsibilities to my level best. I said what I said with outmost clarity. I am not responsible for other versions. This debate was started by the media; we are only putting issues into context.”

He added: “Our history is complicated, so is everything that we have to deal with. The debate is about change, which is clearly outlined in the constitution,” said Kagame.

“But now I have now joined the debate. I asked my party officials to put this matter into perspective asking people concerned ‘where are you going?”

He added: “The responsibility of the President is to be bothered about what affects his people. I don’t want to say much to add in more confusion to an already confused situation.” T

Kagame has been Rwanda’s president since 2000.

During recent Citizen Outreach tours, some people asked President Kagame to stand for president again.

“People don’t know how I am dying to get out of this place [State House],” said Kagame. “I am not the person who needs a third term. I can continue serving my country in different roles. I don’t do this job to be paid or to please anyone. I am thinking about the future of this country not the third term.”

He said what is expected come 2017 is change, “that is what is in the Constitution, talking about continuity of progress…we need stability.”

However, towards the end of the press conference, Kagame said the Rwandan Constitution can be amended like others in different countries.

“Most people who ask and speculate forget the right of people who put the Constitution in place… Can you tell me which Constitution in the whole world that hasn’t been amended?” asked Kagame. “Why forget the role of the people? This Constitution was put in place by the people and sometime back one person would write the Constitution,” the President elaborated.

He maintained Rwanda’s situation is unique which defines how the country deals with its affairs.

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