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

Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers 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.
Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
X
June Soh
January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid