Rwanda President Paul Kagame is accompanied by his family to cast his vote in Rwanda's capital Kigali December 18, 2015, during a referendum as Rwandans vote to amend its Constitution. REUTERS/Village Urugwiro/Handout via Reuters
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Kagame has been president since 2000 but he has effectively been in control since his rebel force marched into Kigali to end the 1994 genocide.The United States, which has long praised Kagame for transforming the nation since the 1994 genocide, said the president could best serve his nation by stepping down in 2017 .Kagame, 58, had said any decision on re-election would happen after the vote, without giving a specific timeliness.The Democratic Green Party, which is tiny and has no seats in parliament, had its bid to block the constitutional amendments rejected in the courts.The constitutional changes will allow him to run for another seven-year term in 2017, followed by two five-year terms afterwards.
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