Rwandan President Paul Kagame has confirmed that he’ll run for a fourth time period subsequent 12 months, which may lengthen his presidency to just about three many years.
“I’m proud of the boldness that Rwandans have in me,” President Kagame This came in statements to the French-language magazine Jeune Afrique on Tuesday.
He confronted criticism from human rights teams who accused him of suppressing dissent.
However the president stated he was not bothered by the opinion of outsiders.
Kagame won the last presidential election in 2017 With roughly 99% of the votes. Human Rights Watch stated that the vote befell in a context by which freedom of expression was severely restricted.
Within the interview with the journal, the president stated he was pleased to proceed so long as the Rwandans needed him to remain and serve them.
He had beforehand hinted that he would possibly run for re-election, however that is the primary time he has definitively introduced that he might be a candidate in subsequent 12 months’s elections scheduled for August.
The 65-year-old has been the dominant power in Rwanda since his then insurgent group, the Rwandan Patriotic Entrance, got here to energy on the finish of the genocide.
However he solely grew to become president in 2000 after the resignation of Pastor Bizimungu.
In 2003, Rwanda adopted a brand new structure that grants the president a seven-year time period, renewable as soon as.
However this was modified in a controversial referendum in 2015.
The adjustments, authorized by 98% of the vote, enable the president to run for a 3rd seven-year time period after which serve two extra five-year phrases starting in 2024.
In response to a query concerning the West’s opinion on his determination to run once more, Kagame instructed the Jeune Afrique newspaper that “what these nations assume just isn’t our drawback.”
“Personally, I now not know what’s suitable with Western values. What’s democracy? The West tells others what to do? But when they violate their rules, how will we hearken to them?” President Kagame stated.
He added, “In search of to switch democracy to another person is already a violation of democracy itself. Individuals are speculated to be unbiased and needs to be allowed to prepare themselves as they please.”
Final 12 months, Human Rights Watch Central Africa director Louis Mudge stated: “Rwanda is a very dangerous country where it is very dangerous to oppose the government, let alone be a political opponent,” he told the BBC..
Many distinguished opposition figures have been attacked, and a few have been killed whereas in exile.
President Kagame has previously strongly defended Rwanda’s human rights report, saying his nation respects political freedoms.