KIGALI. — President Paul Kagame has nodded once again to leading his political party in the August 4 presidential elections. After congratulatory speeches from representatives of major political parties across Africa and local opposition parties, Kagame took to the podium and said he was “very happy” to be nominated as flag bearer of RPF-Inkotanyi party.
The RPF party nominated Kagame as its flag bearer after he was voted by 1 929 party members (99 percent of the total vote) out of the 1 930 members who voted.
“What made you ask me to stay longer maybe addressed in next seven years. I want you to think about it… I am not putting much pressure on you but I am asking you to think about it because you must think about it,” Kagame told delegates at an extraordinary RPF party congress.
However, Kagame has again sent his party into a tactical homework tasking them to plan for a transition after him.
“There is no deadline. In the next seven years I want you and I to work together, maybe double efforts to overcome the challenges that compel you to ask me to stay,” he said.
The RPF party held its major congress at the new state-of-the-art party headquarters with over 2 000 party delegates including guests from across the continent.
More than 2 000 RPF-Inkotanyi party cadres and guests graced the congress at the party’s new Headquarters
The massive structure with an impressive architectural design has a 2 500-seater conference hall and offices is built on top of a hill Rusororo sector, Gasabo district.
If his party wins the elections, Kagame said in the next seven years he will give his best, but asked congress, “We do things either differently or better or work harder so that the seven years coming give us some kind of transition.
“Rwanda needs and deserves the right leaders. Invest in yourselves,” Kagame said, urging Rwandans to engage in politics because every Rwandan who is 38 years and above can be President.
For him, Rwandans should not give room to someone else to make choices for them; “Reject the idea that someone else is better than you and that has the right to tell you what you should be.”
The President reminded party members that RPF is not about red T-shirts, blue or white, but “It is what we have in our hearts and heads.”
Before the event, party members voiced out countless achievements of RPF under the stewardship of President Kagame, and said they still want him to lead the country for another term of seven years.
Political parties present at RPF congress came from 10 countries including the Communist Party of China, South Africa’s ruling Africa National Congress (ANC), Uganda’s National Resistance Movement (NRM).
Other ruling parties represented during RPF congress include Tanzania’s CCM, Kenya’s Jubilee Party; the ruling parties of Djibouti, Congo Brazaville; Angola, Ethiopia and Eritrea.
Kagame thanked representatives of political parties for being by RPF side for many years. For South Africa’s ANC, Kagame said; “ANC and RPF crossed paths in 1994. While South Africa became free and independent, Rwanda was sinking in bottomless pit.”
Out of 11 registered political parties in the country, nine have already announced they will support President Kagame as RPF flag bearer in the next Presidential elections.
President Kagame will soon present his credentials to National Electoral Commission.
The National electoral commission (NEC) will continue receiving credentials from potential candidates until July 7 when qualified candidates will be announced. Candidates will campaign for 24 days before August 4 when voters will go to polls to cast their votes. — Kigali Press.