So the Rwanda referendum has come and gone. President Paul Kagame is already looking to his Vision 2050. The General has in his mind already amended the constitution yet again. Forget 2034. That is history. The President is looking at 2050. He will begin his new term in 2034 aged 77. And he will still be a young man in 2050 – same age as Zimbabwe’s Mugabe today at 93.
But this is not the humor I am thinking about today. I writing about winning in style. Kagame’s senate voted in support for power grab by 100%. The women-dominated lower chamber cheated Kagame a 1% by handing him only 99%. Rwandans cheated Kagame a 1.7% denying him 100% and instead handing him a 98.3% win.
Still, Kagame won in style, given that he won overwhelmingly, even when people voting for him had not seen the actual document they were voting for. The new constitution was first seen in a hard copy 1 day before the vote. In any event, as I have written before, Kagame is now a member of an elite club that wins by 98% to 100%, among the following:
1) Saddam Hussein was the only candidate when in October 2002 he won 100% backing in a referendum on whether or not he should rule for another seven years.
2) The Soviet Union’s Communist Party won 100% in every legislative election until 1984.
3) With no one else on the ballot, North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jong Un was not only elected by 100% margin in March 2014, he also won with the unanimous approval of his district, which incredibly had 100% turnout. Kim Jong Un did better than his father Kim Jong II who won re-election with 99.9% of the vote in March 2009.
4) Presidential elections held in Turkmenistan in June 1992 saw the only candidate, incumbent President Saparmurat Niyazov, winning by 99.5% with voter turnout of 99.8%.
5 ) The Castro brothers in Cuba are members too – in January 2008, Raul won elections by 99.7%. The best his elder brother Castro ever achieved was 99.1%.
6) Rwandan ruler Juvenal Habyarimana increased his vote from 98.99% in December 1978; to 99.97% in December 1983; and to 99.98% in December 1988.
The 2050 train is leaving the station. Are you folks onboard?
Dr David Himbara