Independent presidential candidate Philippe Mpayimana has congratulated incumbent President Paul Kagame on his victory in Friday’s presidential poll.
“Dear supporters, dear Rwandans, it is now clear that the winner of this election is RPF and his Excellency Paul Kagame,” he said on the public broadcaster, Rwanda Broadcasting Agency, shortly after the National Electoral Commission announced that Kagame had attained an unassailable 98.66 per cent with 80 per cent of total votes cast announced.
Full provisional results are expected Saturday afternoon, the commission said.
“I thank local administrations that helped me to conduct my campaigns despite difficulties in the first week. Our country has matured in security and democratic system,” said Mpayimana, who is in a distant second with 0.72 per cent, ahead of Frank Habineza, of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, who’s trailing with 0.45 per cent.
Don’t say that the result is small, everyone has the same right, he added.
He said he had achieved his main objective of “inspiring the first steps of democracy of our country” and pledged to carry on with the same cause. “Join me as I work on the strategic for the next challenge”.
Mpayimana arrived in Rwanda early this year having spent about a decade in France.
Mpayimana and his supporters watched the official release of partial results from Capri Bar in Nyamirambo, Nyarugenge District.
“I appeal for continued calm in the country, this is the will of the people,” he said on the public broadcaster earlier, after 40 per cent of the results had been announced. “I will be happy to continue my contribution toward the development of the country.”
Nearly 7 million Rwandans participated in Friday’s poll.