Rwanda court: Constitution allows removal of term limits

By 10.08.2015 news > World

KIGALI, Rwanda (AP) — Rwanda’s Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit by the political opposition that had sought to block constitutional amendments on presidential term limits, clearing the way for President Paul Kagame to run again for office.

The judges’ decision said that that there was nothing in Rwanda’s constitution that prohibited lawmakers from modifying the constitution.

The Democratic Green Party, Rwanda’s only credible opposition group, had opposed plans to amend the constitution. The party had lodged a petition with the country’s Supreme Court seeking to block the move to remove term limits.

The party will explore other legal procedures like filing a case in the African Court on Human and Peoples Rights as well as the East African Court of Justice, said Frank Habineza, president of the Democratic Green Party.

Rwandan lawmakers already have voted in support of a petition to remove presidential term limits from the constitution.

Kagame became president in 2000 after serving as the country’s de facto leader since the end of the Rwandan genocide in 1994.

He is credited with stabilizing the country in the years since the genocide, but critics say he is an authoritarian ruler who doesn’t tolerate opposition.

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