Rwandan President Paul Kagame has said for the first time that he plans to run for a fourth term in elections due to be held next year.
“Yes, I am indeed a candidate,” Kagame, who has ruled over the country with an iron fist for decades, told Jeune Afrique, a French-language news magazine, in an interview published online on Tuesday.
“I am pleased with the confidence that Rwandans have placed in me. I will always serve them, as long as I can,” the 65-year-old was quoted as saying.
The Rwandan government agreed in March to synchronize the dates of its legislative and presidential elections, which are scheduled for August of next year.
Kagame had not previously stated his intentions, although he has presided over contentious constitutional modifications that have permitted him to serve a third term.
Since the conclusion of the 1994 genocide, Kagame, a former rebel head, has been considered as the country’s de facto leader.
In 2017, he won a third term with about 99 percent of the vote.