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Kagame sweeps 93% of Rwandan votes 0

Rwanda’s electoral body yesterday said President Paul Kagame had won 92.9 per cent of votes cast in Monday’s elections. Mr Chrysologue Karangwa, head of the National Electoral Commission (NEC), said on state television and radio early yesterday that while the electoral body was yet to announce the final tally the overall outcome was not in doubt.

The result means that Mr Kagame, who represented the ruling Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF), will be president for a second constitutionally-provided seven-year term.

Dr Jean Damascene Ntawukuriryayo, the candidate representing the Social Democratic Party (PSD), received 4.9 per cent, Prosper Higiro from thae Liberal Party (PL) 1.5 per cent and the PPC candidate, Dr Alvera Mukabaramba managed only 0.7 per cent.

Reported figures from the Rwandan Diaspora community released late on Monday placed President Kagame’s result at 96.7 per cent out of the 17,824 ballots while PSD came second with 1.5 per cent, PL one per cent and PPC 0.8 per cent.

RPF wins Kampala

Out of the 5,123 Rwandans who voted in Kampala at the weekend, Mr Kagame’s ballots accounted for 4,928 votes, representing 96.19 per cent, Higiro and Ntawukuliryayo each got 57 votes, while Mukabaramba got 29 votes.

Rwanda’s High Commissioner to Tanzania Fatuma Ndangiza is quoted in the local press saying that early results from Tanzania indicated that Mr Kagame had scored 97.8 per cent of the 800 votes cast.

Mr Kagame has recently come under intense criticism for what human rights organisations describe as his trampling on political opposition and stifling freedom of assembly and expression. He is also accused of presiding over a state of terror in the tiny central African country.

Ms Victoire Ingabire, a vocal opposition politician, was barred from participating in this election after the government accused her of denying the 1994 genocide, which left an estimated 800,000 Rwandans dead and promoting divisive tendencies.
NEC Executive Secretary Charles Munyaneza said voter turnout was expected to be 98 per cent.

Mr Kagame and his family waited for the preliminary announcement early Tuesday morning, joining RPF supporters who converged at Amahoro National Stadium.

Dr Ntawukuriryayo, who is also the deputy speaker in the Lower Chamber of Parliament, had earlier told journalists, “I am a democrat and I am ready to accept what comes out of this election. This is a very big achievement for my country and I.”

Conceding defeat

He added, “This is what we have fought for all along and, as Rwandans, we have demonstrated democratic maturity.” Mr Vincent Biruta, the president of the doctor’s party, appeared briefly on national television and conceded defeat.

President Kagame won the last election in 2003, the first since the genocide, with 95 percent of the vote.

By David Kezio-MusokeDaily Monitor Correspondent

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Direttore Responsabile Stefano Arduini