The final results have been released and did not change much only that the incumbent, President Paul Kagame, won slightly more to bring the final figure to 98.79%
Nearly all preliminary reports by observers point to a well organized, free and fair exercise. But that was not by pure chance. A lot was invested in the elections; both material and otherwise. It was a locally financed affair with the private sector playing a major role.
The time invested in preparing the election was done by voters themselves without forgetting the over 50,000 volunteers who acted as returning officers. That is one aspect many non-Rwandans fail to comprehend; how a people could be galvanised behind one action- conducting flawless elections.
The Rwandan electorate has come of age, they do not need to be led blindly nor do they fall for empty promises. They went into these elections with their minds well made up. No amount of spin would have swayed them and that is why they enthusiastically took part. It was as if they wanted to get over with the voting quickly and get back to work. By mid day, most had finished casting their votes.
It is usually not easy to rally people behind a country’s programmes, however progressive, but that is a chapter that many Rwandans have finished. It is as if learning the hard way has made them learn to work more than necessary to catch up with the world.
This is the kind of spirit that will be needed in the next seven years as we explore new opportunities and chart new frontiers. But all that said and done, all those who participated in holding yet another successful election exercise deserve a pat in the back.