Rwandan lawmakers backed a motion on Tuesday to let President Paul Kagame run for a third term in office, paving the way for a referendum to change the constitution.
Kagame has not directly said he wants to run again. But he has said he is open to persuasion that the two-term limit in the constitution leeded to be changed – and a petition to that effect has since collected 3.8 million signatures.
Members of parliament voted to back the petition, said parliamentary speaker Donatille Mukabalisa, adding a referendum would be called on whether to alter the constitution.
A similar move by the president of neighbouring Burindi has provoked violent protests and fears of renewed ethnic conflict in a combustible region. Other veteran African leaders are approaching term limits.