Published on the blog EJCM INFO, october 23rd, 2015
Once again, the United States of America said that they are opposed to a third term for a certain number of Presidents, among others, Joseph Kabila, Paul Kagame, Denis Sassou-Nguesso, …
In few days, imagine President Kagame saying he did not wish to seek a third term, but it is the people who asked him to continue! Do you know even the military dictator and President of Uganda Id Amin said exactly the same thing (have a look and listen at the end of the article).
Speaking about politics in Rwanda, a spokesman for the State Department’s Africa bureau said: « the United States believes that democracy is best advanced through the development of strong institutions, not strongmen ».
« Changing constitutions to eliminate term limits in order to favour incumbents is inconsistent with democratic principles and reduces confidence in democratic institutions, » the statement added.
« We are committed to support peaceful, democratic transition in 2017 to a new leader elected by the Rwandan people. »
The US stance against a third term for Mr Kagame follows critical comments by a State Department official regarding Rwanda’s human rights record.
October 20th 2015, Sarah Sewall Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights, said:
« Rwanda, while it has made remarkable progress over the last decade against all odds –increasing economic growth and youth literacy, dramatically lowering child and infant mortality –has not kept pace with progress on the political front.
There have been unmistakable efforts in that country to stifle critical voices in civil society, in the media, and in the political opposition. And those who speak out often live in fear and face harassment or intimidation. Some have simply disappeared. While we celebrate Rwanda’s progress, of course, sustaining it will require trust in the people and the respect for democratic process and fundamental human rights.
President Kagame has repeatedly stated his commitment to respect the constitutional term limit, and the United States expects him to keep his word.
Countries thrive when governments not only protect their citizens’ lives, but also respect their fundamental human rights – when citizens can safely and peacefully voice their concerns and their hopes for the future and together chart a shared destiny ».
What if president Kagame says he did not wish to seek a third term, but it is the people who asked him to continue! Even the military dictator and president of Uganda Id Amin said exactly the same thing. Listen: