Provisional results released by Rwanda’s National Election Commission (NEC) indicate 98.28% voter turnout for the referendum with the ‘Yes’ vote polling 98.13% and 1.71%of the vote cast saying ‘No’ to the vote. More than 6.4 million Rwandans participated in the vote.
According to Prof Kalisa Mbanda, the NEC chairperson the final results of the referendum will out by Monday.
Results indicate, Rwandans living abroad voted Yes. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Canada and Djibouti 100% of Rwandans who voted endorsed the removal of term limits.
While in Holland, 99.2 percent voted Yes. India (97.6%) and Ethiopia (97.7%).
The president’s backers celebrated the announcement in the capital, Kigali. If the amendment is officially passed as expected, and Kagame continue to win presidential elections, he could stay in power until 2034.
Paul Kagame, commanded the rebel force RPA that ended the Rwandan genocide in 1994 and ousted Hutu extremists from power. He served as vice president and minister of defense under President Pasteur Bizimungu from 1994 until Bizimungu’s resignation in 2000. Kagame later took over as president.
Western powers have accused Kagame of manipulating the constitution for self interest and suppressing free speech and having no tolerance for dissent.