Kagame dismisses U.S envoy comments on post 2017 plans
The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power was at the receiving end of rebuke on Tuesday as she tried to undermine petitions of 3.8m Rwandans who want President Paul Kagame to stay.
Power told reporters at the UN headquarters in New York that despite â€œparliamentary maneuveringsâ€ which led to amendment of constitution to allow President Kagame seek another term, he had to step aside. Amb. Power was laying out plans USâ€™ Security Council presidency.
Within minutes of reports emerging of Powerâ€™s comments, President Kagame responded via Twitter.
â€œThis adds to things that help reach a decision on resolving the complexity of the Rwandan politics by Rwandans!!!â€ said Kagame.
â€œ….forget about the ”parliamentary maneuveringsâ€™â€™ !!!â€
According to the 2003 constitution, President Kagameâ€™s second 7-year term was scheduled to end in 2017. However, from late 2014, parliament began receiving written petitions urging the House to amend article 101. In thousands of letters, ordinary people said they had witnessed a country transformed from complete disaster 20years ago.
By mid this year, lawmakers had received up to 3.8m written petitions. MPs from both chambers launched a countrywide consultation that resulted in the amendment of article 101 and about 200 other articles because voters had endorsed general changes to the constitution.
Today, the draft constitution is awaiting referendum. The new text changed presidential terms from 7yrs to 5years. The amendment, in article 167, allows for transition of 7years from 2017 and President Kagame can campaign, if he chooses.
Meanwhile, following the comments by Samantha Power in New York, social media is flooding with comments dismissing her assertions.