World News

Rwanda's Kagame wins election by landslide

KIGALI (Reuters) - Rwandan President Paul Kagame won 93 percent of the vote in an election that opponents said was marred by repression and violence, the National Election Commission (NEC) said on Wednesday.

“We can say that we are very happy with the conduct of the electoral process, from the campaign to the voting itself. We did not get reports of intimidation from anywhere,” Charles Munyaneza, executive secretary of the electoral body, told a news conference.

The vote count was provisional pending its signing-off by the Supreme Court. Turnout was more than 95 percent in all the central African nation’s five provinces.

Critics said the campaign playing field was uneven, with three would-be opposition candidates prevented from registering to contest the ballot.

Human rights groups also pointed to mounting violence during the run-up to the election after the shooting death of a local journalist and the killing of an opposition official who was found nearly beheaded in July.

Commonwealth observers have said the voting was peaceful and organized but that French-speaking Rwanda, which joined the Commonwealth group of nations in November last year, needed to address issues of political participation and media freedoms.

Reporting by Hereward Holland; Editing by Mark Heinrich