Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame wants to stay in power for another 20 years
Rwanda’s President, Paul Kagame has declared his intention to stay in power for another 20 years despite serving for two decades already.
Mr Kagame came to power in 1994 after his rebel forces helped end a genocide that same year.
He has since been praised by many for bringing enormous development to his country but his critics say he is authoritarian and suppresses those who oppose him.
In 2015 the constitution was amended to allow him to seek re-election until 2034.
He subsequently won presidential election in 2017 by 99% of the vote, according to official figures.
When he was asked if he would seek re-election, Mr Kagame, who is 64, said “I would consider running for another 20 years. I have no problem with that. Elections are about people choosing.”
One of his prominent critic has even stronger words, Charles Kambanda was quoted by the BBC as saying that “If he continues for another 20 years Rwanda will be real hell.”
Charles Kambanda, a lawyer and university lecturer is now based in the US.
President Kagame has always defended Rwanda’s record on human rights. At the recently held Commonwealth summit in Kigali in June this year, he did same.
In April this year the UK announced controversial plans to send some asylum seekers who reach its shores to Rwanda for processing and potential asylum there instead.
Despite the several criticisms against the move even from the United Nations, President Kagame’s government said those criticisms were misplaced.