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 Rwanda: RNC drags government to African Court

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By staff writer

newsdesk@greatlakesvoice.comAfricancourt

Rwanda National Congress (RNC), an extreme opposition party operating in the Diaspora has sued President Kagame’s government for breaching an African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance by trying to amend the constitution to allow his stay.

According to the legal suit Great Lakes Voice has seen, RNC accuses Kagame’s lobbyists of trying to manipulate the supreme law of the land to allow his stay. It’s not clear when the African court of justice will hear the case. Lawyer’s representing RNC are said to be experts in international law and are confident the court will rule in their favour.

efforts to reach RNC spokesperson was unsuccessful by the press time, since the email found at their website went unanswered.

Rwanda signed African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance on June 29, 2007 and ratified on July 09, 2010. Rwanda is among 10 African states which signed the protocol and ratified. 28 countries have signed but not ratified. 16 states have not signed or ratified.

Efforts to reach Arusha based African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights representative was futile by press time. Sources at the court who preferred not to be named said they have received other two similar petitions on the same issue.

RNC want African Court of Justice to rule that Kigali’s move to amend constitution is illegal and breaches ACDEG. And halt the move.

The draft constitution which senate passed today changes the hierarchy of the laws in Rwanda, were the Constitution is the superior law the land followed by organic law, adopted international instruments then other laws. Initially, international instruments were the second to the constitution.

Commentators believe the change of the hierarchy of laws will water down RNC case.

United States, Department of State spokesperson Mark Toner said today that the U.S opposes a constitutional amendment that would allow Paul Kagame to extend his time in office Rwanda. “U.S urged Kagame to respect term limits and step down Rwanda,”

President Kagame appears to be successfully maneuvering for a third term in office after Rwanda’s Senate, today, finalized the revision of the constitution where it adopted to keep two term limits but left “contradicting” Article 172, which allows a transitional term of seven years, before Article 101 could be implemented.

Article 101 of the Rwandan Constitution provides that, “The President of the Republic is elected for a term of seven years, renewable only once. Under no circumstances shall a person hold the office of President of Republic for more than two terms.”

Kagame is the latest long-serving ruler in Africa to attempt to extend his hold on power. Similar moves have already sparked violence and instability in Burundi and Congo Republic. So far there has been no unrest in Rwanda but opposition has announced the protest.

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