Rwanda Parliament To Establish Commission to Amend Constitution
Members of Rwandaâ€™s Parliament have committed to initiate a bill that puts in place a constitutional commission that will help the House respond to constituency wishes to amend the constitution.
â€œWe want to draft a bill and propose a technical commission to help us from the constitution amendment to the referendum,â€ says Abbas Mukama, Deputy Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies.
The decision comes after Parliamentâ€™s presentation of the report from citizensâ€™ consultation whereby, community insisted they want the constitution amended, especially in its article 101, which is about presidential terms.
Their wish is to have the constitution allow more than two terms, which would allow President Paul Kagame to seek more terms after his constitutional 2 terms in 2017.
The commission, according to Mukama, will have commissioners with law drafting expertise.
They will be proposed by the cabinet.
â€œA commission is worth. It will receive more submissions form the community and filter them to give us a clear idea on country direction before we go to referendum,â€ says Edouard Munyamariza, chairman of Rwanda civil society platform.
Munyamariza referred to the constitutional commission that drafted the current constitution in 2003 and said, â€œIt was accessible and ready to record anyoneâ€™s idea.â€
The amendment will not affect article 101 only, said Mukama adding but, some other articles that are no longer relevant would be amended or even removed.
The example is article 105 that provides for participative jurisdictions-Gacaca.
Gacaca courts closed business in 2012 after reaching its mandate of trying about 2 million cases related to genocide committed against Tutsi within ten years.
Another recommendation that was made by MPs is to have a detailed report of the findings from consultations, and then to make a historical book.
â€œIt is the very first time Rwandans asked for constitutional amendment, to allow a president run for more terms,â€ Mukama told News of Rwanda. â€œIt shows a great level of democracy, and trust to leadership and generations needs to read about this.â€