Rwanda to Hold Presidential Poll Next July

Kigali — Rwanda will hold presidential and parliamentary polls on July 15 next year, the election commission said Tuesday, with President Paul Kagame due to run for a fourth term in office.

“Throughout the country, the polling date for the president of the Republic and 53 deputies elected from a list proposed by political organizations or for independent candidates is Monday, 15 July 2024,” the National Electoral Commission said on X, formerly Twitter.

Kagame, 66, has ruled over the landlocked African nation with an iron fist for decades. 

He presided over controversial constitutional amendments in 2015 that allowed him to run for more terms and stay in power until 2034. 

A former rebel chief, Kagame became president in April 2000 but has been the country’s de facto leader since the end of the 1994 genocide. 

He was returned to office — with more than 90 percent of the vote — in elections in 2003, 2010 and 2017. 

Kagame’s only known challenger in the upcoming elections is opposition Green Party leader Frank Habineza, who announced in May his intention to run in 2024. 

Candidates will be allowed to campaign from June 22 until July 12, the election commission said. 

While Rwanda lays claim to being one of the most stable countries in Africa, rights groups accuse Kagame of ruling in a climate of fear, stifling dissent and free speech. 

The Rwandan government in March decided to synchronize the dates for its parliamentary and presidential elections. 

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