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27 July - 2 August , 2015

Media Monitoring Report for Rwanda (27 July - 2 August , 2015)
Posted on July 30, 2015

Compiled by Berta Fürstová

Report content

1. Constitution amendment: Consultations finished in half of the country; Green Party’s problems in court; nine out of 11 political parties in favour of scrapping term limits


1. Constitution amendment: Consultations finished in half of the country; Green Party’s problems in court; nine out of 11 political parties in favour of scrapping term limits
Private but pro-government newspapers

New Times, 29th July 2015 “Term limits: Legislators cover half of the country” by Eugene Kwibuka

  • Members of Parliament have reached more than half of the country in consultations with citizens on calls to amend Article 101 of the Constitution to scrap presidential term limits.
  • The exercise has attracted massive turnout of citizens expressing their overwhelming support for amending the Article. According to Senate vice-president Jeanne d’Arc Gakuba, the majority of Rwandans insist that they can’t afford to lose President Paul Kagame.
  • The consultations will continue until August 11. After the exercise, the lawmakers will table in Parliament their reports of the consultations and the House will vote on whether they approve the idea to amend Article 101 of the Constitution, which, if approved, will require the electoral commission to organise a referendum for Rwandans to vote on it

 

New Times, 30th July 2015 “Green Party Supreme Court arguments marred by inconsistencies” by Dean Karemera

  • The Democratic Green Party, which is before the Supreme Court seeking to stop the ongoing consultations over public demand to amend the Constitution, argues that the government has breached the Constitution and wants the court to interpret the Constitution on presidential term limits.
  • However, state lawyers challenged the plaintiff’s case, saying one cannot be sued for something that has not yet been committed. And they reminded the court that the consultations have not yet been finished.
  • State lawyers also questioned the legality of the Supreme Court to interpret the Constitution, saying this was the preserve of Parliament or the Bar Association.
  • However, Green Party’s president, Frank Habineza, says that they petitioned the Supreme Court because they were not certain about getting a fair hearing from the Chamber of Deputies because “they are part of state which is being sued.”
  • The court had also ruled to disregard a brief filed by a Friend of Court (Amicus Curiae) on grounds that it lacked impartiality and experience to bring any meaningful value to the case. The Centre for Human Rights failed to argue beyond reasonable doubt how their input will help both sides. The judges also raised questions about the CHR managing director Thierry Kevin Gatete’s impartiality after he stated that he was also doing pro-bono work for Green Party.
  • The decision on the procedural matters raised by the parties would be announced on September 9, regardless of whether or not the case will proceed in substance.

 

New Times, 31st July 2015 “Scrap presidential term limits - political parties” by Eugene Kwibuka

  • A team of senators met leaders of all political parties registered in the country as part of the ongoing consultations to hear views on public petitions to amend Article 101 of the Constitution.
  • Nine out of 11 political parties are in favour of scrapping term limits, leaving only the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda in support of maintaining the term limits, while PS-Imberakuri is undecided on the issue.

 


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