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Rwandan Election Chief Says Kagame Set to Seal Re-Election

Rwandan election officials say early results indicate President Paul Kagame is headed for a landslide re-election victory.

The head of the election commission Chrysolugu Karangwa said Mr. Kagame could tally more than 90 percent of the votes.

Tens of thousands of Kagame supporters packed into Kigali's main football stadium to celebrate the widely expected election win.

Voters turned out in large numbers to cast ballots Monday, many lining up at polling stations before sunrise. Election officials say voting appeared to go smoothly throughout the day.

Mr. Kagame faced three candidates who all have ties to his ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front.

Opponents of President Kagame have denounced the campaign as a "sham." Human rights groups say real opposition groups were barred from fielding candidates.

President Kagame has effectively ruled Rwanda since his RPF ended the country's 1994 genocide more than 15 years ago, in which Hutu extremists killed an estimated 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

He has been praised at home and abroad for stabilizing the country, rebuilding its economy and promoting women's rights.

However, rights groups say his government has instituted a climate of repression.

Mr. Kagame and his party won the last poll in 2003, taking 95 percent of the vote.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.