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Rwandan court dismisses presidential term limits case as baseless

08 October 2015, 13:16

Kigali - Rwanda's Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed an application aimed at preventing the president from extending his time in office beyond two terms.

The case brought by the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda was baseless, the court said.

The party wanted to prevent parliament from allowing a change to article 101 of the constitution, which states that the president is elected for a term of seven years, renewable only once.

"Under no circumstances shall a person hold the Office of the president of the Republic for more than two terms," the article says.

Also Read: Burundi expels Rwandan diplomat

But Chief Justice Sam Rugege said in his ruling at the court in Kigali: "The court finds that article 193 of the Rwandan constitution allows article 101 to be changed if it's done by citizens through a referendum."

Rugege said the court will not "deprive Rwandan citizens of their rights."

Party president Frank Habineza told reporters after the ruling, "We expected a win but the court has disappointed us."

Habineza said the party will petition President Paul Kagame and ask him not to submit his candidature.

Kagame is seeking to extend his 15 years in power if the constitution is amended. He has been in power since 2000.



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