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Rwanda’s Kagame Dissolves Parliament Ahead Of July Elections

RWANDA’S President Paul Kagame has dissolved the country’s parliament, setting the stage for presidential and parliamentary elections next month. The dissolution occurred on Friday, coinciding with the swearing-in of new ministers for finance, foreign affairs, gender, and infrastructure following a cabinet reshuffle.

Kagame is one of three candidates cleared by the electoral body to run for the presidency. He will face Frank Habineza of the Democratic Green Party and independent candidate Philippe Mpayimana. The trio previously competed in the 2017 elections.

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Opposition figure Diane Rwigara has been barred from contesting in the presidential election for the second consecutive time. The electoral body stated she failed to provide the correct documentation regarding her criminal record and could not demonstrate sufficient nationwide support.

‘On the requirement for 600 signature endorsements, she did not provide at least 12 signatures from eight districts,’ the National Electoral Commission explained.

Rwandan voters will head to the polls on July 15 to cast their ballots for both presidential and parliamentary candidates. Kagame, who has been Rwanda’s de facto ruler since the 1994 genocide and officially president since 2000, is seeking a fourth term in office.

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