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 resolved in March to hold the country’s legislative and presidential elections on the same day in August of the following year.
Kagame had not previously been clear about his ambitions, but he oversaw contentious constitutional changes that gave him the opportunity to win a third term.
Since the 1994 genocide ended, Kagame, a former rebel leader, has been seen as the nation’s de facto leader.