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Rwanda: Two candidates up against Paul Kagame in July 15 poll

Rwanda: Two candidates up against Paul Kagame in July 15 poll
The President of Rwanda Paul Kagame in London on May 4, 2023.   -  
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Vadim Ghirda/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.


Rwandans will choose between 3 presidential candidates and over 500 aspiring MPs during the July 15th elections.

The Rwanda National Electoral Commission unveiled Friday (Jun.14) the names of candidates in the presidential and parliamentary polls.

Paul Kagame, Rwanda's president for 23 years has been at the head of the Rwandan Patriotic Front since 1998. He will face Frank Habineza of the opposition Democratic Green Party of Rwanda and Philippe Mpayimana who runs as an independent.

In total, 9 candidates submitted their candidacy to the National Electoral Commission.

Habineza ran during the last presidential poll and garnered less than 2% of votes.

Kagame won previous elections in 2003, 2010 and 2017 – with more than 90 percent of the vote.

Critics and rights groups accuse him of ruling in a climate of fear that stifles dissent and free speech.

Last April, the Liberal Party (PL), and the Social Democratic Party (PSD), endorsed the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) candidate Paul Kagame. In doing so, they joined four smaller political parties, which are already in a coalition with the ruling RPF — in endorsing Kagame.

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