Campaign rallies ahead of Friday’s presidential polls in Rwanda have come to an end this evening, with the National Electoral Commission (NEC) saying the three-week exercise had gone smoothly.
According to the rules, campaign rallies must not go beyond 6:30p.m, while all the campaign activities must come to a halt by 6a.m Thursday.
“We expect all the parties involved and Rwandans in general to respect the rules,” NEC executive secretary, Charles Munyaneza, told The New Times Wednesday evening.
While campaigning is still legal up till 6a.m tomorrow, he added, it’s likely that parties will start pulling down their campaign materials later today “so that none of such will be seen anywhere by 6am, tomorrow.”
Supporters of the different candidates will also be required not to display any materials or do anything that promotes their preferred candidates past the designated time, he said.
The vote pits incumbent President Paul Kagame, of the RPF-Inkotanyi, against first-time aspirants; Frank Habineza, of the opposition Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, and Philippe Mpayimana, an independent.
Kagame’s final rally, arguably the biggest throughout the political season, was held today in Bumbogo in Kigali’s Gasabo District, where as many as half a million people gathered to show support for the RPF candidate.
Habineza wrapped up his campaigns in Kigali’s commercial hub of Nyabugogo in Nyarugenge District, while Mpayimana ended his campaign addressing a gathering outside Amahoro National Stadium in Gasabo District, Kigali.
Rwandans in the Diaspora go to the polls on Thursday a day before their compatriots back home cast their ballots.