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23-29 November 2015

Media Monitoring Report for Rwanda (23-29 November 2015)
Posted on December 11, 2015

Compiled by Berta Fürstová

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  1. Cabinet asked President Kagame to call a referendum on constitutional amendments

1. Cabinet asked President Kagame to call a referendum on constitutional amendments
Private but pro-government newspapers

New Times, 25th November 2015. “Parliament paves way for referendum on term limit” by Eugene Kwibuka

  • Parliament passed a draft law proposing amendments to the Constitution and forwarded it to the Cabinet. If approved by the Cabinet, a national referendum will follow.
  • It is not yet clear when the referendum will take place but everything that has to be done before it is organised will have to be done as fast as possible because that is the wish of citizens, according to MPs.
  • “Citizens have told us that they want the referendum to happen before the end of the year. It’s up to the government to consider people’s wish,” said Deputy Speaker of Parliament in charge of administration, Abbas Mukama.

New Times, 26th November 2015. “Cabinet asks President Kagame to call a referendum on Constitution” by Eugene Kwibuka

  • Members of the Cabinet asked President Paul Kagame to call a referendum for Rwandans to approve the recently revised Constitution of the country.
  • Prior to responding to the request from Cabinet, the President will first seek advice from the Supreme Court as required by law.
  • According to the law, “should the referendum adopt the proposal, the President of the Republic promulgates it within a period of eight days as from the time of proclamation of the results of the referendum”.

New Times, 27th November 2015. “Constitution: Understanding the amendments” by Eugene Kwibuka

  • Apart from the presidential term limits, other changes have also been made to the Constitution, especially the term of office for senators and judges, as well as the mandate of the Senate.
  • Regarding the term of office for the Head of State, the revised Constitution reduced presidential term limits from seven to five years renewable once. But the change will be preceded by one transitional presidential term of seven years for which any presidential candidates, including President Kagame, will be eligible.
  • Senators’ term in office was also reduced from eight years non-renewable to five years renewable once, except for those who are former Heads of State because they are not subject to term limits.
  • The term of office for the Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justice was also reduced to five years renewable once, instead of eight years non-renewable. The mandates for the Prosecutor-General and the Deputy Prosecutor-General are also five years renewable once.

 


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