RE: “MPs back plan to maintain term limits in constitution” (The New Times, October 29).
Over 70% of the electorate wrote to the Parliament demanding for the change of the Constitution to remove term limits. The Supreme Court decided that such an action would be legal.
In fact the rationale for revisiting this law was based on the demands of the people put through their representatives.
So my question is: why did lawmakers decide to construct new laws that are not consistent with the clear demands of the population? Nowhere in the petitions did people say they wanted to reduce the length of presidential terms.
That was not the driving factor of these petitions. The repeated reports said Rwandans want the Constitution amended to allow President Kagame to run for “unlimited” terms.
Mr. Rubagengwa’s questions are shared by many other Rwandans whose petition set the constitutional amendment process in motion. Nowhere did the petitioners ask for the reduction of the presidential term from seven to five years, or for the lifting of the 30% quota for women’s representation.
The task we, the people of Rwanda, set them was simple: review and revise the Constitution for submission to us, the Rwandan people, to pronounce ourselves in a general plebiscite on whether we want presidential term limits to be lifted to make it possible for our incumbent leader to present himself for election to continue in his current role, if he so chooses.
Nowhere did the petitioners ask the Parliament to engage in wholesale tampering with our Constitution on other issues.
Nowhere does the EAC Constitution require that the length of our presidential terms or any other constitutional provisions not related to the Community’s issues be uniform among member states. So that explanation does not hold water.
So whose views are our parliamentarians really representing and trying to railroad into this constitutional amendment process?