What would happen if Kagame refused to run for presidency in 2024 elections?

By Esther Muhozi
On 9 January 2024 at 01:06

Members of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF Inkotanyi) welcomed the year 2024 with particular enthusiasm following President Paul Kagame’s announcement to seek another term in the upcoming presidential elections scheduled for July of this year.

This announcement marks Kagame’s fourth candidacy for the RPF Inkotanyi and comes in response to a strong demand from its members and the Rwandan population in general.

The president hinted at his intention to seek re-election during an interview with Jeune Afrique in September 2023, expressing pride in the trust bestowed upon him by the Rwandans and pledging continued dedication to serving them.

In The Choice Live show aired on Isibo TV, Tito Rutaremara, an influential member of the RPF Inkotanyi and a veteran in Rwandan politics, was asked about other potential candidates who could succeed Kagame.

Rutaremara’s reply disclosed his perspective: "While there may be other potential candidates, we strongly requested Kagame to seek reelection. In the journey of life, you come across leaders of varying levels, including mediocre, good, and very good ones. However, exceptional leaders are a rare breed. When you come across such a remarkable individual, it is crucial to retain them for as long as feasible."

"These extraordinary leaders are scarce, possibly encountered only once in a century. Our current leader belongs to this exceptional category. When you have someone of his caliber, it is wise to have them continue their service for as long as possible, as finding another leader of comparable excellence is unlikely in the near future," he added.

President Kagame led Rwanda since 2000, initially as an interim president following the resignation of Pasteur Bizimungu, and then elected in 2003 during the first presidential elections after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. Under his leadership, Rwanda has experienced a period of stabilization and growth.

The presidential elections this year will coincide with parliamentary elections on July 15. Kagame’s candidacy is a strong indication of the confidence and approval he enjoys within the RPF Inkotanyi and the Rwandan population.