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Kagame Poised For Fourth Term Amidst Limited Opposition

Rwanda President Paul Kagame is expected to secure a fourth term in office in the upcoming election on Monday, facing modest competition from two opposition candidates. Kagame, 66, has been a significant figure since helping end the 1994 genocide and has served as president since 2000. In the 2017 election, he garnered nearly 99 percent of the vote following a constitutional change that removed term limits.

Kagame’s leadership has been praised for Rwanda’s recovery and development, transforming it into a regional financial hub. However, his tenure has also faced criticism for alleged human rights abuses, media suppression, and support for rebel groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Additionally, Rwanda’s controversial 2022 migration deal with Britain has attracted international scrutiny, though newly elected British Prime Minister Keir Starmer announced plans to scrap the agreement.

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Kagame’s only rivals in the election are Frank Habineza and Philippe Mpayimana, who both ran against him in 2017. Habineza, leader of the Democratic Green Party, aims to improve on his previous performance of 0.48 percent of the vote. Mpayimana, a government employee, advocates for giving opportunities to new leadership.

With over 9 million registered voters, the election will also determine the members of the 80-seat lower house of parliament. Provisional results are expected by July 20.

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