The head of state is the President of the Republic who is elected for a period of seven years and may serve a maximum of two consecutive terms. The President is chosen by direct popular vote.

In 2003, Rwanda held its first democratic multiparty election, in which President Paul Kagame was elected to lead the nation after a landslide victory at the polls.

A parliamentary election was held in the same year, which gave a mandate to the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) political party.

In a referendum held on 26 May 2003, a new constitution was voted into law by a massive majority of 93% of registered voters. Entrenched in this new fundamental law are the principles of democracy and good governance, individual freedoms such as freedom of speech, property rights, and a firm rejection of divisive politics.