You are here  » Home   » Africa

Paul Kagame backed for another term

By George Orido | Published Mon, June 19th 2017 at 00:00, Updated June 18th 2017 at 23:52 GMT +3
Rwandan President Paul Kagame at the Rwanda Patriotic Front Congress offices. [Photo: George Orido, Standard]

Rwandan President Paul Kagame has been endorsed by his party to run for the presidency for the third term.

The Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) Congress endorsed him for another term of seven years.

“Today should have been the day for me to pass the baton to someone else but a decision was made by you that I run again and I accept,” he told his supporters who burst into songs of praise and adoration.

Jubilant members dance at the Rwanda Patriotic Front Congress that later on nominated Rwanda President Paul Kagame to run for yet another 7-year term (Photo: George Orido, Standard)

Mr Kagame was elected by the RPF movement delegates through a secret ballot and sailed in practically unopposed since he got all the votes expect a spoilt one.

The genocide saw the killing of nearly one million Tutsis and moderate Hutus in a span of 100 days as the world watched the worst genocide in human history since the holocaust.

“Who is going to lead us? He is the only one, he is the only one, he is Kagame,” chanted the crowd as they rose to dance to welcome the decision to have the 59-year old contest the August 4 elections, which he is poised to win.

Avoid fake news! Subscribe to the Standard SMS service and receive factual, verified breaking news as it happens. Text the word 'NEWS' to 22840

“I am sure victory is going to be ours,” said Kagame in his acceptance speech in which he pleaded with Rwandans to redouble their efforts in their country of 12 million people.

The lanky but soft spoken President got a major boost for his re-election when over 10 opposition parties turned up at the event to endorse his new bid occasioned by the change of Constitution to remove presidential term limits.

Returning Officers count votes at the Rwanda Patriotic Front Congress (Photo: George Orido, Standard)

“We recognise your development work and we must defend this impeccable track record and that is why we support you and come this August we shall elect you our President gain,” said one of the opposition leaders in endorsing Kagame who has ruled the country since 2000.

Kagame said the next seven years, if elected, would be like a transition period.