The United States is “deeply disappointed” after President Paul Kagame announced his intention to run for a third term in office in 2017.
State Department Spokesperson, medicine http://ciencialili.org/components/com_wrapper/wrapper.php John Kirby said in a weekend statement that, order http://chutneyrestaurant.ca/wp-content/themes/twentythirteen/inc/custom-header.php “With this decision, hospital President Kagame ignores an historic opportunity to reinforce and solidify the democratic institutions the Rwandan people have for more than twenty years laboured so hard to establish.”
In a New Year message, Kagame said Rwandans asked for a revised Constitution, which they approved in the recent referendum, “in order to fortify the gains we have made.”
“You clearly expressed your choices for the future of our country. The process allowed us the time to make certain that the proposed changes had merit and wisdom,” said Kagame.
“You requested me to lead the country again after 2017. Given the importance and consideration you attach to this, I can only accept. What remains is to follow the normal laws and procedures when the time comes.”
The President also warned against a life presidency: “But I do not think our aim is to have a President for life, nor is it what I would want.”
The United States is a close ally of the RPF government led by President Kagame.
Washington is also one of the major donors of foreign aid to Rwanda which includes money for development programmes and joint education and military training initiatives.
While President Kagame is accused of suppressing dissent, the western world has since credited his ability to transform the country from bloodshed and state of hopelessness in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide to a prosperous country.
The national referendum was triggered by over three million petitions from locals, urging the lifting of term limits for Kagame to serve another term.
In the revised Constitution, Kagame can stand for another 7-year term and two more of five years each – making him eligible for re-election up to 2034.
The U.S. said it believes constitutional transitions of power are essential for strong democracies and that efforts by incumbents to change rules to stay in power weaken democratic institutions.
“We are particularly concerned by changes that favour one individual over the principle of democratic transitions,” the statement further reads.
However, Kagame said, “Sooner rather than later, this office will be transferred from one person to another in a manner that will serve a purpose, not merely set an example, whether for ourselves or others. That is why we need to remain fully engaged on Rwanda’s journey of transformation.”
He further observed the conditions for maintaining political stability are actually the same as those needed to build the prosperity that can be seen on the horizon.
Rwanda is moving toward local elections this year, presidential elections next year, and parliamentary elections in 2018.
U.S. called upon the Government of Rwanda to “ensure and respect the rights of its citizens to exercise their freedom of expression, conscience, and peaceful assembly — the hallmarks of true democracies.”