Rwandan President, Paul Kagame has announced that he will run for a fourth term in 2024’s presidential election, the BBC has reported.
“I’m sorry for the West, but what the West thinks is not my problem,” Kagame said after he was asked about what the West would think about his decision.
Kagame has been in power for 23 years and can run for two more five-year terms under the current constitution, which was controversially amended in 2015 to allow him a fourth term.
In April 2023, Kagame joked that he was looking forward to retiring and handing over power after 23 years in office. He said he was not necessarily interested in choosing his successor but rather creating an environment that would give rise to people who can lead, according to BBC.
The country’s ruling party, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF-Inkotanyi), retained Kagame as its chairman in April. He has led the party since 1998. The party elected its first woman vice-chairperson. Rwanda has one of the world’s highest proportions of women in parliament and government.
Kagame won the last election in 2017 with 98.8% of the vote.
Kagame’s regime is accused of suppressing dissenting views. International rights groups claim opposition politicians, journalists, and activists at home in Rwanda and abroad have also been killed or made to disappear after criticizing Kagame or his ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front party, reports Deutsche Welle.