Rwandan Election: Electoral Excludes Opposition Leader From Race

Rwandan Election: Electoral Excludes Opposition Leader From Race
Rwandan Election: Electoral Excludes Opposition Leader From Race

In a notable development ahead of Rwanda’s forthcoming election, Diane Rwigara, a key figure opposing incumbent President Paul Kagame, has been disqualified from participating in the electoral race. Rwigara, who heads the People Salvation Movement, voiced her frustration after being omitted from the electoral commission’s provisional candidate roster last Thursday. She had declared her intention to run in May.

The electoral body attributed Rwigara’s exclusion to her failure to submit a criminal record document and to gather an adequate number of supporting signatures. As a result, only Frank Habineza of the Democratic Green Party and independent candidate Philippe Mpayimana have been approved to challenge President Kagame. Other significant opposition personalities like Bernard Ntaganda and Victoire Ingabire also find themselves barred from contesting.

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Rwigara’s political journey saw a similar setback in 2017 when she was disqualified from running against Kagame due to accusations of falsifying signatures. This led to her arrest, as well as charges of forgery and inciting insurrection, culminating in a detention period of over a year. This decision comes amidst Rwanda’s broader political discourse characterized by strict control and limited space for opposition.

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