Landslide Victory for Kagame in the Face of Grenade Attack.
Paul Kagame has won a second term in office after garnering a whopping 93 percent of the vote in the Rwandan Presidential election by a land slide majority. The elections took place on August 9th amid allegations from the opposition that the elections would not be free and fair.
“Based on the election results, the board of directors of the National Electoral Commission declares Paul Kagame is elected president of our country for the next term,” Chryslogue Karangwa, the body’s chairman, told journalists in the capital, Kigali.
The Social Democratic Party (PSD) Presidential hopeful, Dr. Jean Damascene Ntawukuriryayo, had 4.9 %, Prosper Higiro from the Liberal party (PL) 1.5 % and the PPC candidate, Dr Alvera Mukabaramba 0.7 % respectively.
Charles Munyaneza, executive secretary of the electoral body was quoted by Reuters as saying “We are very happy with the conduct of the electoral process, from the campaign to the voting itself. We did not get reports of intimidation from anywhere”.
But observers from the Commonwealth group of nations, which Rwanda joined last year, said the election had been devoid of “critical opposition voices”, with the three other candidates all linked to Kagame’s party.
“A number of opposition parties had earlier stated their intention to stand, but faced either legal or administrative problems, which resulted in their non-participation,” the observers said in a statement.
“Each case appears to be different, but the overall impact is a concern.”
President Kagame has been widely and internationally applauded for taking Rwanda to the next level after the deadly genocide of 1994 where ethnic Hutus and Tutsis clashed and millions died and others displaced.
In an exclusive interview with Al-Jazeera shortly after being declared winner, Kagame said “I am not responsible for the weak opposition; if the opposition is weak it is because they are weak. I cannot be ashamed of my strength just because someone else is weak “.
“I don’t understand, did anybody follow the expressions of Rwandans, and how they came out freely to participate in the elections to choose, and to define the path to their future?”
Kagame also repeated government denials of any involvement in the killing of a journalist and an opposition figure in the run-up to the vote.
Immediately after the announcement of Kagame, a grenade was thrown in the capital Kigali and left seven people injured. However analysts said the attack appeared to be aimed at producing a political crisis in the country.
The Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) candidate, Paul Kagame, will, for the next seven years, be President of Rwanda after being, overwhelmingly, voted back into office,
Juvénal Habyarimana was President of the Republic of Rwanda from 1973 until 1994. During his 20-year dictatorship he favoured his own ethnic group, the Hutus, and supported the Hutu majority in neighbouring Burundi against the Tutsi government. On April 6, 1994, he was killed when his airplane, also carrying the President of Burundi, Cyprien Ntaryamira, was shot down close to Kigali International Airport. His assassination ignited ethnic tensions in the region and helped spark the Rwandan Genocide.
The 1994 Rwandan Genocide was the mass murder of an estimated 800,000 people.