Kigali: Rwandan President Paul Kagame
celebrated an overwhelming election victory by dancing with
thousands of supporters early on Tuesday, after opposition parties
were banned from the vote and some Rwandans said they were
forced to cast ballots for him.
The country`s election commission said preliminary
results indicated Kagame would win more than 90 per cent of
yesterday`s vote.While Kagame faced three opponents on the
ballot, analysts said none of the three presented any real
Human rights groups and other critics also had decried
the arrest of several opposition figures in the lead-up to
yesterday`s election, and noted that several others were
killed or attacked under suspicious circumstances.
The Rwandan government has denied any involvement in
those attacks. Tens of thousands of supporters celebrated
Kagame`s victory at the national sports stadium late yesterday
and early on Tuesday.
Kagame joined in the festivities, dancing on stage as
bands belted out music. Preliminarily results were announced
around 4 am (local time).
Yesterday`s presidential election was Rwanda`s second
since the 1994 genocide, when at least half a million people
mostly Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed.
Much of the sharpest criticism has come from ethnic
Hutus against Kagame`s Tutsi-led government.
One Hutu political leader, Victoire Ingabire, who was
arrested earlier this year on charges of genocide ideology and
was not allowed to run, said that if Kagame`s regime continues
its repression, the country could spiral into chaos.
Kagame has been credited with stabilising Rwanda and for
its post-genocide economic growth. Kagame has tried to
downplay the role of ethnicity in post-genocide Rwanda, and
people in the country rarely refer to themselves as Hutu or
Tutsi and can face charges for speaking publicly about