PL, PSD back Kagame for President

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PSD President Vincent Biruta (C) and other party officials in a toast to celebrate PSD's 25th anniversary on Saturday. At the same event, the party endorsed President Kagame as the rightful candidate in the forthcoming presidential elections. Nadege Imbabazi.

Two of the biggest political organisations in the country have separately decided to back the incumbent President Paul Kagame as their candidate of choice in the forthcoming presidential elections to be held in August.

Social Democratic Party (PSD) was the first to express their commitment to endorse Kagame –who hails from RPF Inkotanyi – as their rightful candidate, during a special congress on Saturday afternoon.

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President of PSD speaks during the special congress and the celebration of 25th anniversary of the Party. Nadege Imbabazi.

A similar position was assumed yesterday afternoon by Liberal Party (PL), which also backed Kagame for President in their extraordinary congress held in Kigali yesterday.

Kagame, who is yet to be decided upon as the presidential flagbearer by his own political party RPF-Inkotanyi is the likely candidate of choice for many Rwandans irrespective of their party affiliation.

In 2015, over four million Rwandans petitioned parliament calling for the amendment of the constitution to allow for President Kagame, who was serving what would be his last term, to stand again.

During PSD’s extraordinary congress, which coincided with the party’s 25th anniversary, Party President Dr Vincent Biruta said that the objective of his party was not about to “simply contest” for the sake of it, but rather support whoever it is that seek to foster Rwanda socio-economic transformation.

“We have a unique way of doing things in our country and of course unique belief in our party. Our belief is towards democracy, and socio-economic transformation of our country, not just to contest for the sake of it.

“When we examined all that, we found out that President Paul Kagame is the candidate we believe in, and whom we shall support in the forthcoming presidential elections,” Biruta told reporters, shortly after the congress.

There was general consensus on this position among members of the party’s delegates and those that took up the microphone to speak all commended the incumbent for his “visionary leadership.”

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PSD members dance during the celebration of 25th anniversary of existence. Nadege Imbabazi

His leadership, they said, has fostered unity and reconciliation of Rwandans as well as socio- economic transformation of the country.

When asked if PSD was not too quick to endorse Kagame before his own party RPF-Inkotanyi reaches the final conclusion to front him as their presidential candidate, Biruta said that, “our party, again, can always sit and decide.”

“But I don’t see that happening. He (Kagame) agreed to heed to the demands of Rwandans, and it is evident that majority of Rwandan still want him to stay. I want to think that his party also listens to the wishes the majority Rwandans,” Biruta added.

PL, on the other hand, during the extraordinary congress also announced that they wouldn’t front anyone else during August presidential polls but rather back Kagame.

Party president Donatille Mukabalisa announced that PL was satisfied with decision reached upon by the party congress to back the incumbent, with a view that he would put into considerations the aspirations of PL as well as those of all Rwandans.

During 2010 presidential election, PL’s Prosper Higiro and Jean Damascene Ntawukuliryayo of PSD contested against President Kagame.

Meanwhile, the ruling RPF-Inkotanyi is still conducting party primaries to decide on the flagbearer in August’s presidential elections.

Last weekend, the party held primaries at the district level.

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