News / Africa

Rwanda's Ruling RPF Heads for Easy Win

Rwandan President Paul Kagame casts vote during parliamentary election, Kigali, Sept 16, 2013.
Rwandan President Paul Kagame casts vote during parliamentary election, Kigali, Sept 16, 2013.
Reuters
Rwanda's ruling party was cruising to a widely expected landslide win in parliamentary elections on Tuesday, early results showed, reinforcing President Paul Kagame's firm grip on power.
 
The National Electoral Commission said Kagame's Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) had won 76 percent of the vote with three quarters of ballots counted.
 
Under Kagame's leadership, the east African country has become a favorite with foreign investors. The order book for Rwanda's debut Eurobond in April was 8.5 times the $400 million sought, underlining its steady economic growth.
 
But Kagame's opponents have accused him of cracking down on political opponents and restricting press freedoms — allegations he dismisses.
 
Some Rwandans said turnout was low in their constituencies.
 
"People felt like there was no point voting, the RPF was going to win," said one man from eastern Rwanda, withholding his name, a common occurrence in a country where many feel scared to talk out against the authorities.
 
Others said that although the result was predictable, the process had been free and fair.
 
"We can choose whoever we want to vote for," said Claudette, a 30-year-old teacher from Kigali.
 
Pro-government newspapers have published a number of articles in recent months raising the prospect of Kagame running for a third term in 2017, a move that would require the next assembly to change the constitution to extend term limits.
 
Kagame, a bush fighter-turned-statesman widely lauded for transforming Rwanda's economy after the 1994 genocide, has so far sidestepped questions on the issue.
 
The Social Democratic Party and Liberal Party polled 13 percent and 9.4 percent respectively, initial results showed. Although not part of a governing coalition, neither party has proved a significant voice for opposition in parliament.
 
"The opposition parties do what the RPF tell them to do," said a student from Kigali who did not give his name.
 
Voters cast their ballots on Monday for 53 directly elected seats. A further 27 seats are reserved for women, youths and disabled representatives who are being indirectly elected on Tuesday and Wednesday. Those candidates are not aligned to specific parties.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regreti
X
Zana Omer
March 28, 2015 1:19 AM
Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Virginia Tavern Takes Patrons Back to Medieval Times

European martial arts are not widely practiced and are unknown by most people. A tavern in Old Town Alexandria, outside Washington, wants to change this by promoting these fighting techniques from medieval times. Through combining visual arts, martial arts and culinary arts, this tavern brings medieval history back to life. VOA's Yang Lin and Helen Wu report.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More