by Saul Butera* [caption id="attachment_17989" align="alignleft" width="300"] Rwandan President Paul Kagame, “like all heads of state who change term limits, wants to give the impression that he would prefer to leave but is reluctantly staying on for the good of his people.” Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg[/caption] Rwandan President Paul Kagame may be able to extend his rule in 2017 elections after parliament received 2 million signatures calling for a constitutional amendment that would allow him to run for a third term. The East African nation’s president is restricted to two, seven-year mandates under the current charter. Kagame, who’s been in power since 2000, said last month that he was open to either staying on or leaving the position “depending on the interest and future” of the country. He said he doesn’t support changing the constitution to remove the cap on terms. Kagame may want “to give the impression that he would prefer to leave but is reluctantly staying on for the good of his people,” Francois Conradie, political analyst at NKC Independent Economists in South Africa, said in an e-mailed response to questions.The possibility of Kagame, 57, running for an extra term with the backing of the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front bears similarities to the political situation in two of Rwanda’s neighbors. In Burundi, the ruling party’s nomination of Pierre Nkurunziza to seek a third term in June elections has sparked more than a week of violent protests. Four people died in Thursday’s unrest, including one person killed by a grenade, raising the death toll since protests began to at least 17, Agence France-Presse reported.