Rwanda President, Kagame wins Presidential election for the third time

Rwanda’s incumbent leader Paul Kagame has, in a landslide victory, won the presidential elections that granted him a third term in office, extending his 17 years in power.

With 80 per cent of votes accounted for, the 59-year-old former guerrilla leader secured 98.66 percent, the National Electoral Commission’s Executive secretary Charles Munyaneza told a news conference, Reuters reports.

“We expect that even if we get 100 percent of votes, there will not be any change,” he said.

The board expected turnout to top 90 per cent in the East African country of 12 million citizens once full details emerged, in elections that fielded only a single opposition candidate, Frank Habineza, and an independent.

Kagame, who cast his vote in Kigali’s Rugunga polling station earlier on Friday, said he would work to sustain economic growth in the tiny nation.

“This is another seven years to take care of issues that affect Rwandans and ensure that we become real Rwandans who are (economically) developing,” he said in a speech broadcast live on television.

He won the last election in 2010 with 93 per cent of the vote and during this campaign for a further seven-year term, said he expected an outright victory.

Habineza, who has so far won 0.45 percent of the early count, had promised to set up a tribunal to retry dissidents whose convictions by Rwandan courts have been criticized as politically motivated.

Another would-be opponent, Diane Rwigara, was disqualified by the election board despite her insistence that she met all the requirements to run.

“To me I see this as a one-man race. I simply did not go to vote,” said one man in Kigali who asked not to be named.

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