The head of Rwanda's electoral commission says provisional results show Rwandans have voted overwhelmingly to lift term limits to allow President Paul Kagame to run for more terms in office.

Mbanda Kalisa said Saturday that more than 98 percent of voters in 30 districts voted to lift term limits for Kagame.

Rwanda's political opposition criticizes the referendum as undemocratic and the U.S., a key Rwandan ally, has opposed Kagame's bid to stay in power.

Kagame became president in 2000 after being Rwanda's de facto leader since the end of the country's genocide in 1994. He is credited with stabilizing the country and promoting economic growth after the mass killings, but critics say he is an authoritarian ruler who does not tolerate opposition and he is accused of human rights abuses.