The President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame has declared that he will run for a fourth term in next year’s presidential election.
“Yes, I am indeed a candidate,’ Mr Kagame told French-language magazine Jeune Afrique yesterday.
When quizzed about what the West would think about his decision to run again, Mr Kagame said, “I’m sorry for the West, but what the West thinks is not my problem”.
‘I am happy with the confidence that the Rwandans have in me. I will always serve them, as much when I can.’
Africa Today News, New York recalls that’Mr Kagame had in April said he was looking forward to retiring and handing over power after 23 years in office.
The country’s ruling party, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF-Inkotanyi), retained Mr Kagame as its chairman in April. He has led the party since 1998.
Mr Kagame has been president of the East African nation since 2000. A controversial referendum in 2015 removed a two-term constitutional limit for presidents.
He won the last election in 2017 with 98.8% of the vote.
Rwanda under President Kagame has enjoyed relative political stability but critics and human rights groups accuse his government of limiting political freedoms and suppressing dissent.
Africa Today News, New York recalls that in July last year, Kagame who has been in power for two decades revealed that he would consider remaining in office for another 20 years.
Paul Kagame told a French TV channel he would stand for president again at the next election in 2024.
In 2015 he changed the constitution, allowing him to stay until 2034.
In the last presidential election five years ago, official figures showed he won 99% of the vote, which many outside the country dismissed as a sham.