Rwanda’s Kagame re-elected with landslide victory
Incumbent President Paul Kagame has won another seven-year mandate after attaining an unassailable lead in Friday’s presidential poll.
In partial results released by the National Electoral Commission Friday night, constituting 80 per cent of the total votes, Kagame garnered 98.66 per cent of the vote, the third multiparty presidential election in Rwanda’s history.
His challengers, independent Philippe Mpayimana, and Frank Habineza, of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, scrapped only 0.72 per cent and 0.45 per cent, respectively.
Kagame received 98.95 from the Diaspora vote which took place on Thursday.
“We don’t expect any major change going forward and therefore RPF candidate, Paul Kagame, is the winner of the election,” NEC chairman Kalisa Mbanda announced at the commission headquarters in Kimihurura past midnight, local time.
Full provisional results are expected Saturday afternoon, the commission said.
Mpayimana has already conceded defeat and congratulated Kagame on public broadcaster, Rwanda Broadcasting Agency.
In Rwanda’s first multiparty presidential polls in 2003, Kagame won by 95.05, while he got 93 per cent in the 2010 poll.
Kagame’s candidacy this time around was backed by eight opposition parties, some of which fielded candidates of their own in previous polls.
Kagame delivers victory speech
Meanwhile, shortly after the release of the latest results, Kagame joined thousands of supporters at the newly constructed headquarters of the RPF-Inkotanyi in Rusororo, Gasabo District in the capital Kigali, where he delivered his victory speech in front of an ecstatic crowd.
He thanked RPF members and Rwandans in general for yet again putting their trust in him.
The RPF-Inkotanyi chairman also expressed gratitude to the opposition parties that backed his re-election bid and was magnanimous in his victory, congratulating his opponents in the poll on contributing toward the country’s democratisation process.
The president-elect was also full of praise for a group of teenage youths that played a key part in the organization of his three-week campaigns, the artistes who supported his bid, as well as his family for standing with him during the campaign.
Kagame also thanked security personnel for the great work they do in keeping the country safe.
Kagame ran on a platform of his impressive track record and a promise to continue on the path of the country’s transformation process.
The incumbent led a rebel movement that stopped the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and went on to spearhead the country’s dramatic turnaround in across all sectors.
Nearly 7 million Rwandans participated in the poll.