Rwanda is one of few countries that allows citizens in the diaspora to play a role in electing the president. Local media portal, the New Times Rwanda reports that polling stations have been open in African countries like Kenya, Uganda, Djibouti and South Africa.
Registered voters who are overseas are also not left out as election officials are seen serving those in Belgium, the United States, Sweden and other countries.
The elections are the third post the 1994 genocide and return to multi-party politics. Three candidates were passed by the National Electoral Commission (NEC) to vie for the seat currently occupied by President Paul Kagame.
Kagame – winner of the two previous polls – is running on the ticket of the Rwandan Patriotic Front. His main challenger is the Democratic Green Party’s Frank Habineza and an independent aspirant, Philippe Mpayimana.
The winner gets a seven-year term to run affairs of the country. It is the last time a leader will have a seven year presidency. According to constitutional changes in a 2015 referendum. In 2024 presidential term limits will be cut to five years.