Kigali, Rwanda | AFP | Rwandans on Saturday celebrated the third term victory of President Paul Kagame who pledged to continue transforming the nation after winning re-election with a record 98 percent of the vote.
“I am very pleased. I had hoped for this victory,” said Yvette Uwineza, a 36-year-old computer scientist. “The continuity is reassuring,” she said, crediting 59-year-old Kagame with developing the country and creating “a better life for Rwandans.”
Interim results published by the electoral commission on Saturday gave Kagame an unprecedented victory, outstripping the 95 percent he took in 2003 and 93 percent in 2010.
Saturday’s tally matched the proportion of people who supported a constitutional amendment two years ago permitting Kagame to run for a third, fourth and fifth term potentially seeing him rule until 2034.
“I honored your request, and this (election) confirms that Rwandans made a choice based on the future they want,” Kagame told thousands of supporters at his ruling party’s headquarters in Kigali in the early hours of the morning.
“We are going to continue with the work we started by advocating for a better Rwanda.”
Final results are due later Saturday and the commission estimates 97 percent of 6.9 million voters turned out to cast their ballots.
Of the results so far announced, Kagame had 98.66 percent while his two little-known rivals barely made a dent.
“I accept the result and congratulate the RPF and Paul Kagame,” Mpayimana told AFP.
“I am not going to stop here. I urge all citizens to join be so we can become stronger for the next election.”