Rwanda's ruling party picks Kagame as August candidate

KIGALI, Rwanda (AP) — Rwanda's ruling party has chosen longtime President Paul Kagame as its candidate for the August election.

Kagame has ruled the East African nation since 2000. He was elected unopposed Saturday by Rwandan Patriotic Front members.

He is expected to face a handful of challengers who either represent small parties or are independent.

Out of 11 registered political parties, nine have said they would back Kagame instead of fielding their own candidates.

Kagame's decision to pursue a third term comes after the country's constitution was amended in a 2015 referendum, allowing him to run for an additional seven-year term and then two five-year terms.

That means Kagame could remain until 2034.

Rwanda's opposition called the referendum undemocratic and the United States, a key ally, opposed Kagame's decision to stay in power.