Masses have pressured parliament to amend the constitution demanding for a legal leeway to extend Kagame’s rule through another vote
Masses have pressured parliament to amend the constitution demanding for a legal leeway to extend Kagame’s rule through another vote

Legal heavyweights in Rwanda must be crossing fingers after a law establishing a commission to help parliament amend the constitution was passed and published yesterday.

A presidential order authorizing government to vet and submit names is expected any time soon.  The order will also provide for salaries, benefits and support staff.

Then senate will approve the names for a renewable tenure of four months.

The commission will constitute seven members of which, 30% must be women and two must be experienced lawyers.

Members of the commission will report to the lower chamber of parliament.

The commission, once approved, will draft what will determine the fate of four million Rwandans who petitioned parliament to scrap off article 101 that provides for presidential term limits.

Millions of Rwandans have demanded the constitution be amended to allow them vote for President Paul Kagame again, whose second and last 7-year term ends in 2017.

After unanimously voting in favour of the petitioners, the parliament agreed a commission with constitutional law expertise be established to help make the amendment.

“It will receive more submissions from the community and filter them to give us a clear idea on the country’s direction before we go for a referendum,” says Edouard Munyamariza, chairman of Rwanda civil society platform.

However, Abbas Mukama, the Vice Speaker of Parliament of the Lower Chamber, told KT Press last evening that the amendment will not only affect article 101, but other irrelevant articles will either be amended or deleted.

For example, article 105, which provided for participative jurisdictions-Gacaca, will be deleted because Gacaca courts closed business in 2012.

Meanwhile Senate President, Bernard Makuza has said the commission needs to be set as soon as possible.

A source told KT Press there are no names discussed in cabinet yet.




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