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Critics Allege Rwanda’s Ruling Party Hindering Opposition Democracy Participation

  • Peter Clottey

Rwandan Map

Rwandan Map

In Rwanda, critics are reportedly accusing the ruling party of hindering the opposition’s full participation in the country’s democracy.

This comes after President Paul Kagame was re-elected chairman of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF).

Tens of thousands were reportedly killed in Rwanda's genocide

Tens of thousands were reportedly killed in Rwanda's genocide

Jean Bosco Gasasira, editor of the independent Umuvugizi Newspaper, said President Kagame is almost set to win next year’s election.

“Paul Kagame has been overwhelmingly elected as the incoming chairman of the ruling party, RPF. Him being elected as the chairman of the ruling party automatically makes him the next presidential candidate in the general election which takes place in 2010,” he said.

Gasasira said Kagame’s election was expected.

Rwand has made progress after the 1994 genocide.

Rwand has made progress after the 1994 genocide.

President Kagame’s RPF came to power shortly after the 1994 genocide.

Hundreds of thousands of Rwandans were killed in the 100-day massacre which was reportedly triggered by the assassination of former President Juvenal Habyarimana.

Gasasira said critics of Kagame’s administration are accusing the ruling party of hindering democracy -- a charge the RPF denies.

“They have been saying that the ruling party doesn’t give out political space. President Paul Kagame being elected was automatically expected by Rwandans,” Gasasira said.

Political observers tip incumbent President Paul Kagame to win next year’s election for another seven-year term.

Gasasira said several opposition parties are holding talks to form a coalition ahead of the election.

President Kagame came to power shortly after the genocide.

President Kagame came to power shortly after the genocide.

“On Friday, we got a press release whereby the opposition in the Diaspora which is in Netherland and other parts of Europe…they emerged (under) one umbrella. They want to elect a presidential candidate to fight with President Kagame in the incoming presidential election,” Gasasira said.

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