It is over. President Paul Kagame will retain the presidency for more seven years after a landslide victory, with 98.66% of 5,498,411 votes counted in a preliminary set. His opponents managed to get a handful of the 80% of the counted votes.
The Democratic Green Party candidate Frank Habineza secured an embarrassing 0.45% while independent candidate Phillipe Mpayimana walked away with some 0.72%.
The Chairman of the Rwanda National Electoral Commission, Prof. Kalisam Mbanda said that it is obvious and clear that the remaining 20% cannot change the outcome.
“Kagame has the chance to win the lection: he told reporters who had camped until midnight while NEC officials received instant results from all around the country.
“We will confirm the final results from the final count tomorrow (today) at 4pm,” Kalisa Mbanda said.
The Diaspora count of 50% (over 20,000) of the votes gave Kagame a lead by 98.95%.
NEC executive Secretary, Charles Munyaneza said that the 80% of the counted votes came from 74% of the polling statins. “With this trend, it shows President Kagame is in the lead,” he said. “The numbers might increase or reduce, but we have seen the trend and we can confidently say that Kagame is clearly the winner,” Munyaneza said.
Asked why all the votes were not counted and get the job done, NEC Chairman said that it was already late (past mid-night) and “we believe Rwandans are now in bed and not following, we have decided to suspend and continue tomorrow (today) at 4pm.”
Candidates speak out
President Kagame who had joined RPF supporters to celebrate the victory at the party Headquarters said that, “RPF has won. So I want to thank the leaders and supporters of RPF and all Rwandans, the victory is yours.”
He made a long list of teams and expressed his gratitude. His family, supporters, the 8 other parties who made a coalition with RPF, organisers, campaign mangers, security organs, financiers and his contenders. “I would like to thank all those who came along us with their families and their presence. “We didn’t lack finances but thanks to them and the contribution of RPF supporters” he said in appreciation to contributions made by the private sector.
Mpayimana Speaks Out
Independent candidate, Phillipe Mpayimana addressed journalists after the reading of preliminary results. He conceded saying, “Results show that RPF is better than us.” “But I would like Rwandans to continue with the same spirit during elections. I am happy the elections were peaceful. But when we close polls we shall work together”. He however added that for him this is the start for his project. “I will run again in the next election.”
Frank Habineza remains mum
Democratic Green Party candidate, Frank Habineza has remained tight-lipped despite having announced moments before he cast his vote that he was expecting a win with 65%. “I will be president tomorrow, he said on Friday morning shortly after voting.” On Friday evening, hours before the results were out, Habineza, his family and his supporters were partying at Lemigo Hotel as they followed the Electoral Commission announced the results.
Meanwhile, the likelihood is that the remaining 20% of the votes will not change the current trends. “At this level, it might be the same results,” said Munyaneza.