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Rwanda’s Paul Kagame announces plan to contest for third term. See other African leaders who broke the law

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Rwandan President, Paul Kagame, has announced his intention to contest for the third term which could see him remain in office until 2034.

Even though the Rwandan constitution limits the tenure to two seven-year terms, Kagame’s announcement that he would extend his rule beyond 2027, would require amending the constitution to suit his desire.

The move which has been roundly criticized by civil society groups in the country has been subtly promoted by calls on state-controlled media for Kagame to be allowed to stay on for a third.

Kagame, a former Colonel in the Rwandan army who came to power in 2000 after leading the Rwandan Patriotic Front to overthrow the extremist Hutu government behind the 1994 genocide, transformed himself into a civilian president when he contested and won the presidental elections in 2003 and again in 2010 with overwhelming majorities.

This is not the first time Kagame will go against the Rwandan constitution on the tenure of the president. In December 2015, in a nationwide address, Kagame had announced that he would run for a third term because the people wanted him to continue.

“You asked me to continue to lead this country after 2017. Given its importance to you, I can only accept,” he had said.

But Kagame will not be the first African leader to go beyond his tenure and extend his stay in office.

Examples abound all around the continent as many presidents have had to amend their country constitutions to favour their quest to remain in power.

He will be joining the elite class of Africa’s sit-tight leaders who circumvented their country’s constitution and manipulated the processes to perpetuate themselves in power.

He will be in league with the likes of Cameroonian President Paul Biya, who has been in power since 1982, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea who has ruled the tiny oil-rich nation for over 38 years and Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni who changed the country’s constitution over five times to keep himself in power.

Other sit-tight African presidents include the now late Jose Eduardo dos Santos who perpetuated himself as Angola’s president for over 40 years, late Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe who was arguably the world’s oldest president at 93 and had been president for 40 years.

Others in this esteem list include late Chadian president, Idriss Deby, Sudan’
Omar Al-Bashir, Isaias Afewerki of Eritrea, Denis Sassou Nguesso of Republic of Congo, Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria, Ismaïl Omar Guelleh of Djibouti, Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi and Togo’s Faure Gnassingbe who made sure he was succeeded by his son.

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Recalcitrant Mali to snub ECOWAS sanctions on Guinea in defence of ‘fraternity’

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Mali has continued its recalcitrant posture in the international space as its interim prime minister has revealed that the country will not apply sanctions imposed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Guinea.

Mali’s government spokesman and interim prime minister, Abdoulaye Maiga, in a statement said the country would not respect the sanctions out of loyalty and diplomatic it has with Guinea.

“Taking into account the solidarity and fraternity between Mali and Guinea, the transitional government has decided to break away from all illegal, inhumane, and illegitimate sanctions imposed on (Guinea) and will take no action on them,” Maiga, said.

The regional bloc, ECOWAS in July lifted sanctions imposed on Mali and Burkina Faso after both announced time table for democratic transition but the sanction on Guinea remained after the body had rejected the three years calendar proposed by the ruling junta led by Colonel Mamady Dumbouya .

The bloc, last week imposed sanctions on Guinea’s ruling junta for taking too long to organize elections and restore democracy after seizing power last year.

Some of the sanction measures include freezing junta members’ financial assets and barring them from travelling to other countries in the region.

Mali, one in Guinea and one in Burkina Faso since August 2020. The lifting of the sanctions is some sort of relief for the countries who cannot afford more economic restrains than the troubling cases of insurgency already caused them.

Mali under the current military junta of Colonel Goita has severed diplomatic relations with some allies, notably France which has been helpful with military support in the fight against terrorism.

The country has also had diplomatic loggerheads with other entities like Ivory Coast, the United Nations, Germany, and Egypt amongst others.

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Nigeria Decides: Ruling party candidate, Bola Tinubu, missing as political parties sign peace pact

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As the 2023 presidential elections draw closer in Nigeria, leading candidates have signed an accord toward a peaceful electioneering process.

The symbolic pact is organized by the National Peace Committee (NPC), chaired by Abdulsalami Abubakar, a former military Head of State.

In attendance were candidates of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, Rabiu Kwankwaso, flagbearer of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP); and Omoyele Sowore, standard bearer of the African Action Congress (AAC), were present at the event.

However, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was not present but was represented on Thursday by his running mate, Kashim Shettima.

The pact is symbolic as most elections in Africa are often characterized by violence. The timeliness of the pact is rife as the 2023 electoral season officially began on Wednesday, 27 of September which marks the commencement of political campaigns.

In April 2022, Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in a report said more than 1,149  persons, including INEC employees and security officers, were killed in the three elections held in 2011, 2015, and 2019.

According to INEC, ballot papers, cubicles, and other materials were similarly destroyed.

As Nigerians hope to turn their lot at the next elections, they would also hope to be alive to witness the change, the outcomes depend on them, the public.

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