General Kagame to form a “government of national unity”
Kigali – Rwandan President Paul Kagame in what looks like a radical move to silence critics questioning his democratic credentials has offered to form a government of national unity with the opposition candidates and their parties who lost to him during the recently concluded presidential elections, APA learns here Saturday.
Kagame was speaking at an election victory party by the ruling Rwanda Patriotic front (RPF) in the Amahoro National Stadium, after his recent re-election with 93%.
Sounding triumphant to hundreds of his party supporters, Kagame said he was willing to continue working with the three opposition parties, the Liberal Party (PL), the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the Concord People’s Party (PPC).
“After all this, we will engage them to continue working together as we have been since 2003,” said Kagame, adding that all those who were competing for the presidency had the same plan – to build the country.
In the 2003 presidential polls, all these three, along with all the small parties put their weight behind Kagame – allowing him a 95.6% win over former Prime Minister Faustin Twagiramungu.
Though there is yet to be any public endorsements of which positions the opposition parties will get in any national unity government, speculation is rife that the PSD flag bearer Dr. Jean Damascene Ntawukuriryayo could be the next Prime Minister. However, this offer would mean the PSD president Dr Vincent Biruta, losing his powerful Senate president position according to the 2003 Constitution.
The 2003 Constitution in spirit of power sharing and conscious democracy stipulates that the President and the Prime Minister cannot come from the same party but also other parties and social groups must share other posts like that of speakers of chamber of deputies, the Senate and their respective deputies.
The long-serving Prime Minister Makuza belongs to the MDR party, which was disbanded in 2002 over accusations of divisionism, and the reclusive and quiet Makuza has been an independent since.
The PL candidate, Senator Prosper Higiro, will also be waiting to see what his party, controlled by Youth Minister Protais Mitali, could get from the offer of cooperation from Kagame’s olive branch.
The other losing presidential candidate, Senator Dr. Alivera Mukabaramba, though largely a low-key politician, is likely to stay on in Parliament. Her small PPC has just Mukabaramba in the Senate and Thierry Karemera, in the Lower Chamber.