Rwanda kicks off presidential election campaign

15:32, July 21, 2010      

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Rwanda kicked off the campaign for its second presidential elections on Tuesday, with four candidates vying for the top post of the Central African nation.

Electoral officials said the campaign will end on Aug. 7 and that voters will go to the polls on Aug. 9.

However, analysts say the incumbent president, Paul Kagame, from the ruling Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) should easily dominate his challengers as there are no serious threats from the opposition parties: most of their leaders are subject to judicial proceedings related to "serious accusation of crimes."

In a press briefing released on Tuesday in the capital Kigali, Kagame told reporters that he "was ready to accept 110 percent results of this upcoming 'credible' elections."

Since Tuesday morning, most of the candidates have centered on their ambitious program to improve the economy, fight corruption and resolve unemployment.

However, some of the candidates turned to celebrities power such as Kagame, who has hired famous African singers to sing or dance for his supporters during his campaign rallies.

"My re-election will largely depend on what the Rwandan population will say, and I am ready to accept at 110 percent results of this election," Kagame said.

In Kigali, presidential campaign T-shirt and hats featuring the slogan of the four candidates and their political agenda were hung in most of the popular shops.

The Rwandan police had pleaded for calm among the population ahead this presidential campaign, after a series of murders. The victims include a journalist and one leader of the non-registered opposition party.

The spokesperson of High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, said on Tuesday the European Union urged the Rwandese authorities to clarify the exact circumstances of this horrific killings and bring the perpetrators rapidly to justice.

"The European Union also wishes to express its deep concern that three assassinations of public figures have now taken place in Rwanda within the last month. These assassinations have contributed to the deterioration of the political climate and to the emergence of a feeling of fear among the Rwandan citizens," Catrherine said.

Source: Xinhua


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