Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- The African Union (AU) on Tuesday
announced that it would deploy an election observation mission
(AUEOM) in Rwanda on July 27th to observe the
presidential election scheduled for the 4th of
August this year.
Upon an invitation
from the Government and the Electoral Commission of Rwanda,
Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the AU Commission, has
approved the deployment of a short-term AU election
observation mission to observe the upcoming election.
Headed by Cassam
Uteem, former President of Mauritius, the mission comprises of
40 observers drawn from various African countries and AU
institutions, and it will remain in the country until the
announcement of final results.
Shortly after the
election day, the mission will issue a preliminary statement
of its findings at a press conference in Kigali, according to
an AU statement.
A final report,
including recommendations for improvement of future electoral
processes in Rwanda, will be presented at a later stage, after
the completion of the entire electoral process, said the
statement from the pan-African bloc.
President Paul Kagame gains
advantage in presidential
elections by his track record: analysts
By Lyu Tianran and James Gashumba
KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) -- The
incumbent president of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, will seek his
third term in the presidential elections on August 4, where he
will face challenges from other two candidates.
Kagame, also the
chairman of the ruling party Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF),
holds advantage over the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda’s
Frank Habineza and independent candidate Philippe Mpayimana,
as he has a good track record and enjoys high popularity in
the country, analysts told Xinhua.
“He is extremely
popular and has the experience. He is the author of Rwanda’s
emergence among nations,” said Herman Musahara, Associate
Professor and Researcher of College of Business and Economics
at University of Rwanda. He predicted another landslide
victory of Kagame.
presidential elections will be the third since the end of the
ex-genocidal regime in 1994. Kagame gained landslide victories
in the last two presidential elections held in 2003 and 2010
by winning 95 percent and 93 percent of the total votes,
The 1994’s Rwanda
genocide claimed over 1 million lives, mostly ethnic Tutsis.
After ending the genocide, RPF led by Kagame formed a
coalition government, which brought parties that did not
participate in the genocide together, and started the journey
of reconstruction and reconciliation.
He has been head
of a government that has become the 7th in
efficiency globally and the third in Africa in ease of doing
business, said Musahara.
cherished more profoundly as having led stopping the Rwandan
genocide in 1994 under difficult conditions, and then went on
to forge a unique and successful model of national unity and
reconciliation, said the expert.
“Since the (July
1994) liberation, Rwanda has started a journey of recovering
its unity and identity... which had been put aside, put down,
by colonial rulers and subsequent regimes of the first and
second regimes,” executive secretary of Rwanda’s National
Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC) Fidele Ndayisaba
told Xinhua in an exclusive interview in June.
reconciliation status is at 92.5 percent, up from 82.3 percent
of five years before, according to Rwanda Reconciliation
Barometer released by NURC in 2016.
The government has
now adopted a policy of single national identity. Citizens are
registered simply as Rwandans, with no ethnic or tribal
references anymore on their identification papers.
Musahara, Kagame’s achievements in his last seven-year term
include overseeing rapid economic and social development of
Rwanda and Rwandans, taking Rwanda to a high positioning in
visibility and competitiveness globally as a model of a
developmental state, and maintaining peace and security in the
country and the region.
“Life for Rwandans
has generally continued to improve, and it is obvious to many
that the government tries its best to work for them and in
their interest,” said Frederick Golooba-Mutebi a researcher
and writer on politics and public affairs.
He told Xinhua
that other candidates can’t convince Rwandans that they have a
viable alternative agenda that would make people’s lives
better than they have been made over the last 23 years.
Kagame has a
strong and clear track record, said the researcher, adding
that most of what he and the government they lead have
promised, they have delivered.
Where they have
not delivered to expectations, fair-minded Rwandans would
agree that it was not because they were taking care of their
own interests at the expense of those of the ordinary person.
achievements in the past seven years include unity, poverty
reduction, peace, security, fighting corruption, inclusive
development, accountability and justice as foundation for
sustainable development, infrastructure development and
environment conservation, women empowerment, the CEO of Rwanda
Governance Board Anastase Shyaka said during RPF’s congress,
where Kagame was elected as RPF’s presidential candidate.
universal health insurance cover for Rwandans and rural
development, he said.
Campaigns for the
three candidates started on July 14 and will end on August 3,
just a day before the elections.
About 6.8 million
people will participate in this year’s presidential elections,
according to the National Electoral Commission of Rwanda.