Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim, the head of Commonwealth Observer Group (COG), in an exclusive interview, yesterday, said that his mission was impressed by the just-concluded Presidential elections.
According to Dr Salim, the elections, which the incumbent President Paul Kagame won by a massive landslide, were peaceful and well organised.
“In the course of our mission, we have been extremely impressed by what we saw. We observed that Rwandans had actually exercised their democratic rights in their millions under relatively calm and almost jovial atmosphere,” Dr. Salim observed.
COG issued an interim statement, last Tuesday, on the eve of the August 9, Presidential polls, saying they had seen a peaceful election campaign and a well-managed process.
“We have observed many elections before but in the case of Rwanda, the jovial, and calm atmosphere as opposed to confrontational scenes that have witnessed in other countries was something that can be said to be somehow unique,” said Dr Salim, a former Secretary General to the Organisation of African Unity, now African Union.
He observed that the second presidential polls after the post genocide political dispensation serves as an indicator of the political maturity and dignity that Rwandans are embracing.
Dr. Salim castigated those who labelled the polls as a masquerade, saying that such assertions are “sad and irresponsible” given Rwanda’s turbulent and dark past, especially its transition.