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Rwanda Election: President Kagame Wins 3rd Term With 98.6% Of Votes Counted

Rwandan President Paul Kagame sailed to a third term in office with a tally hovering around a whopping 98.6% percent of votes, partial results showed Saturday.

There had been little doubt that the 59-year-old would return to the helm of the east African nation which he has ruled with an iron fist since the end of the 1994 genocide.

With 80 percent of results counted, Kagame had secured some 5.4 million votes, far more than the 50 percent plus one required for him to win re-election.

“We think that at this level … it will be the same result, no change after having counted 100 percent (of votes),” said national elections commission chairman Kalisa Mbanda. Full provisional results will come through later Saturday.

The commission estimates 97 percent of 6.9 million voters turned out to cast their ballots.

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Of the results tallied, Kagame had 98.66 percent — a figure which could still shift slightly — while his two little-known rivals barely made a dent.

Frank Habineza of the Democratic Green Party — the only permitted critical opposition party — won 0.45 percent of votes and independent candidate Philippe Mpayimana scored 0.72.

This result is not different from what Kagame secured in the 2003 and 2010 polls after he became president in 2000 following the resignation of his predecessor Pasteur Bizimungu.

Around the country Rwandans gathered to hear the results, with some celebrating an early win for Kagame. At a gymnasium in the capital loud music blared and traditional dancers took to the floor to entertain several hundred people.

“We are celebrating the presidential election,” said one young man as he danced. “We are celebrating Paul Kagame!” another yelled out next to him.

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Written by PH

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