Rwanda president Paul Kagame has say that he will not play any role in choosing his successor. He says he leaves that to Rwanda Patriotic Front and Rwandans.
“The succession plan is not mine. If it had been, I would not be here now; I would have left because that is what I intended to do,” President Kagame during just concluded Mo Ibrahim Governance summit in Kigali.
He added: “I intended to serve for only two terms and leave; that was my intention and it is clear, I don’t have to keep defending myself on it. I was deeply satisfied in my heart … until people asked me to stay,” he said.
“And even then, it took some time before I accepted; finally I did because of history — the history of my involvement in politics and being a leader which started from childhood.”
“In 1994, my party had taken it for granted that I was going to take the helm as the leader. I told them to look for someone else. I told them I wasn’t prepared for it; it was not what I was fighting for,” he said.
To go against people
President Kagame warned that there will come a time when no amount of persuasion from his party or the citizenry will convince him to stay.
“If I were to reach a stage — and I will not reach that stage — where people ask me to continue… and when I feel I cannot do much for them, then I will tell them no. Even if they insist, I will also insist on going,” he said.
Kagame who has been president since 1994 was elected to a third seven-year term last year, after a constitutional referendum led to the suspension of term limits.
Under the amended constitution, a presidential term was slashed from seven to five years, and set to be renewed only once. This allows him to run for two further five-year terms when his current term ends– this will push him until 2034.