Rwan­dans vote to­day as Kagame poised for third win

Daily Trust - - HOME FRONT - By Ab­dul­la­teef Salau with agency re­port

Rwanda’s 6.9 mil­lion reg­is­tered vot­ers will cast their bal­lots to­day in the coun­try’s third pres­i­den­tial elec­tion since an es­ti­mated 800,000 peo­ple were killed in a geno­cide in the cen­tral African coun­try 23 years ago.

Over 44,000 Rwan­dans liv­ing out­side the coun­try voted yes­ter­day at nearly 100 polling sta­tions, ac­cord­ing to the elec­toral com­mis­sion for the East African na­tion.

Long-time leader Paul Kagame is widely ex­pected to win.

The 59-year-old for­mer rebel com­man­der, who has been in power for 17 years, won polls in 2003 and 2010 with 93% and 95% of the votes cast, and is stand­ing for a third seven-year term fol­low­ing a con­sti­tu­tional change that waived a pre­vi­ous two-term limit and was ap­proved by 98% in a ref­er­en­dum.

Only two op­po­si­tion can­di­dates have been al­lowed to stand against him in to­day’s elec­tion, and nei­ther is ex­pected to make any sig­nif­i­cant im­pact.

Sup­port­ers of Kenyan pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Raila Odinga dance wav­ing flags as he ad­dresses a rally held by his coali­tion party The Na­tional Su­per Al­liance (NASA) in Kisumu

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