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13-19 July, 2015

Media Monitoring Report for Rwanda (13-19 July, 2015)
Posted on July 24, 2015

Compiled by Berta Fürstová

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1. Constitution amendment: MPs support the amendment and other articles to be updated 

1. Constitution amendment: MPs support the amendment and other articles to be updated
Private independent newspapers

Rwanda Focus, 14th July 2015. “MPs say 3.7 million Rwandan petitions are constitutional” by Theophile Harushyamagara

  • The MPs from both chambers showed their support for the amendment of article 101 of the Constitution to allow President Kagame run for President in the 2017 Presidential elections.
  • They voted to confirm the legality of the 3.78 million petitions sent to Parliament by Rwandans requesting the amendment of this article. The legality of the request was voted for by 79 out of 80 MPs who attended the session.
  • MPs voted at the same rate of 79 out of 80 attendants to go and seek the consent of the citizens left as well as examine other constitutional provisions that need to be reviewed.
  • “The petitions we have received are a reflection of about 62% of Rwandans’ thoughts. There is another 38% we need to consider, “said MP Eugene Barikana.
  • The Parliament vote went in favor of the article amendment request legality in spite of the Green Party of Rwanda lawsuit that is pending in the Supreme Court.
  • In the chamber of senators, 23 out of 24 senators voted in favor of the amendment.
  • About 3,000 Rwandans who gathered in the Parliament auditoriums cheered and clapped as MPs recounted the “incomparable achievements” that Rwanda has attained thanks to the leadership of President Paul Kagame.
Private but pro-government newspapers

New Times, 15th July 2015 “Term limits: MPs to conduct consultations” by Eugene Kwibuka and Athan Tashobya

  • The Chamber of Deputies and the Senate held separate sessions in which legislators spoke out in favour of the amendment of the article 101 of the Constitution.
  • In the Chamber of Deputies, which had all the 80 MPs present, 79 lawmakers supported the petitioners’ request. One vote was invalid.
  • The 26-member Senate endorsed the legality of the petitions by 23 out of 24 senators who were available in the House with one invalid vote. The majority senators said that any obstacles against President Kagame continuing to lead Rwandans should be removed.
  • The two chambers also backed the proposal to update the Constitution by looking at all articles that may be outdated.
  • In a move that is seen as the initial step towards a national referendum, the legislators agreed to initiate countrywide consultations to have more people have their say on the amendment. The next course of action – after the consultations – will be to vote on whether to run a referendum on proposed amendment of the presidential term limits.
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