05 - 08
President Paul Kagame has secured a landslide victory in his reelection bid, with his challengers barely managing to secure more than 1% of the votes cast.
President Kagame’s victory was confirmed by Rwanda’s electoral commission with 80% of the votes counted, as at that point he had garnered 98.66% of these votes.
“We expect that even if we get 100% of the votes, there will not be any change,” said Charles Munyaneza, the Executive Secretary to the National Electoral Commission.
Speaking after his victory had been confirmed, Prsident Kagame urged those who challenged him to set aside their differences and work with him.
“The victory belongs to Rwandans who put their trust in me. I promise to build on the achievements so far registered and transform the country,” said he.
There were two other presidential candidates on the ballot paper: Philippe Mpayimana, a former journalist running as an independent, and Frank Habineza, of the Democratic Green Party, effectively Rwanda’s only opposition party.
Mpayimana had 0.72% of the cast votes while Habineza got 0.45%.
Three other candidates had been disqualified from the race.
With this victory, President Kagame has secured a further 7 years to rule Rwanda, and could, if he so wishes, run for two 5-year terms afterwards; in effect, he could remain in power until 2034.
Originally though, President Kagame was supposed to be stepping down this year, this being the end of his second term.
However, a constitutional amendment (passed with 98% approval) gave him the liberty to vie for this third 7-year term, and two more 5-year terms.