Rwanda: Kagame promises peaceful, transparent elections

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Rwandan president Paul Kagame has assured foreign diplomats that this year’s elections will be peaceful and transparent.

The East African nation is due to hold presidential elections on August 4, which could see Kagame secure his third term in power – a move that has prompted concern from parts of the international community.

 

Rwanda gearing up for elections

This year’s elections will be the third of their kind since Kagame assumed power in 2000. Rwanda has successfully held peaceful elections during this period and Kagame insists people in the country will accept nothing less.

“We are looking forward to a constructive and meaningful election later this year marking an important period of consolidation for our country,” Kagame said. Rwandans have come to expect things to be done thoughtfully, openly and in a security while strengthening our unity. For us, this is an important approach that we have pledged will be preserved,

“Rwandans have come to expect things to be done thoughtfully, openly and in a security while strengthening our unity. For us, this is an important approach that we have pledged will be preserved.”

However, it’s not so much the risk of violence breaking out in Rwanda’s upcoming elections concerning diplomats – but rather the issue of transparency and lawfulness.

 

Kagame edges closer to a third term

Few people will be expecting any surprises on results day. Kagame is fully expected to secure his third term in power and most will be anticipating a landslide victory. Last year, Rwanda held a referendum to ask the people if they wanted Kagame to run for a third successive term. The results came in at 98% backing for the acting president and it would take some turnaround for Kagame to lose out in the August elections.

The government insists the Rwandan public is demanding Kagame is given the chance to run again and that the referendum was transparent and accurate.

However, Kagame and his regime have their doubters – many of whom accuse the president of creating a silent dictatorship where people are too scared to speak up against the government.

That said, the economic feats managed by Rwanda during Kagame’s tenure so far have been nothing short of remarkable and if there’s one way for a leader to win the hearts of the public it’s by feeding bellies and building economies.

 

Featured image: By © ITU/J.Ohle, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31853376

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.