See also:
» 15.07.2010 - Rwanda's Kagame wasting last goodwill
» 22.04.2010 - Rwanda opposition leader conditionally released
» 21.04.2010 - Rwanda opposition leader arrested
» 14.04.2010 - Rwanda press gagged in run-up to polls
» 10.02.2010 - Rwanda urged to cease hostilities
» 04.02.2010 - Rwandan politician attacked
» 18.09.2008 - Women to run Rwanda parliament
» 05.09.2008 - Rwanda's development praised

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Rwandans vote for parliament

afrol News, 15 September - Rwandan polling stations opened at 6:00am today with president Paul Kagame's party Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF), expected to win an overwhelming majority on the country it has ruled since the 1994 genocide.

The ruling party is challenged by Social Democratic Party and Liberal Party, which backed Mr Kagame in the 2003 presidential poll that he won with 95 percent of the vote.

The small central African country's political opposition includes around a dozen parties, but have been in exile since end of genocide and did not field candidates.

Their absence leaves the result of this week's vote a foregone conclusion with the RPF, dominated by the country's Tutsi minority, poised to garner a comfortable majority.

There is only one independent candidate among the pack competing for 53 positions in the chamber of deputies. The 27 remaining parliament seats will be allocated through indirect elections taking place in September, with 24 seats reserved for women, two for youth representatives and one for a representative of the disabled.

There are 356 candidates, with one PSD candidate having been disqualified by national electoral commission over charges of genocide.

According to electoral commission list, FPR and its coalition of six other smaller parties had 80 contestants, followed by PSD with 64 and PL with 62.

Christophe Bazivamo, chairman of RPF campaign team said: "The campaigns were successful and we are optimistic that we shall have majority votes in the elections."

Mr Bazivamo, who is also president Kagame's minister of agriculture and vice president of ruling party, noted that his party's success will be dependent partly on its mobilisation skills and organisation.

PSD secretary general Jean Damascene Ntawukuriryayo, who is also Rwandan's Minister of Health, lauded electoral commission and all security organisations for ensuring peaceful campaigns.

PL said it was equally satisfied with way campaigns went and expressed optimism of wining a considerable number of seats.

The election campaign started on August 25 and officially ended on Saturday, just two days to polling day on September 15. In previous election, in 2002, RPF won almost three-quarters of the vote.

Provisional results are due to be announced on 22 September, with final results expected three days after that.

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