The Supreme Court in Rwanda has today heard a case lodged by opposition party, the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda,that sought to block President Paul Kagame from having an extended rule after his two term mandate.
On July 8, the DGPR filed a case in the Supreme Court challenging any constitutional amendment that would pave the way for Kagame to get another term in office after the completion of his two seven-year term that ends in 2017.
The case was adjourned by a nine-member panel of Judges led by Chief Justice Sam Rugege, after lawyers for the DGPR failed to turn up in court.
the DGPR has remained the lone voice against Kagame’s possible stay in power beyond 2017, with arguments that the move would stifle democracy.
The DGPR has also claimed that lawyers fear to take up their case.
By filing time it was not clear what had transpired in the Supreme Court, but analysts say the court is unlikely to pass judgment in favour of the DGPR.
Kagame became president of Rwanda in 2002 after then President Pasteur Bizimungu was relieved of his duties by Parliament.
In 2003, after the promulgation of the country’s new Constitution, Kagame was elected President for a seven-year term by adult suffrage, ending his first mandate in August 2010.
In the same month he was elected for a second seven-year term, which is ending in 2017. But even before the date nears, millions of Rwandans including the political class have all called for a constitutional amendment to Article 101, to pave the way for a post-2017 Kagame presidency, something the DGPR and other development stakeholders like the US, have opposed.
It should be recalled that while addressing the African Union in Addis Ababa yesterday, President Barack Obama castigated African leaders who ‘stick’ to the presidency, noting they were detrimental to development in their respective countries.
Meanwhile, a report carried out has indicated that out of the 53 African leaders, 47 of them have been in power for more than 10 years.