Kagame confesses ‘spoiling his ballot’ at party nomination vote

Rwanda’s long-serving ruler Paul Kagame has revealed that he spoiled his ballot when his party unanimously chose him as its presidential candidate for the 4 August election.

Mr Kagame got 1,929 of the 1,930 votes cast by delegates at the ruling Rwanda Patriotic Front’s (RPF) congress last month.

Mr Kagame told a local TV station yesterday that the one spoiled ballot belonged to him. He he wrote the party’s name on it, rather than voting for himself.


He was elected unopposed as the RPF’s candidate, and is expected to secure a third term in the 4 August poll.

His decision to seek re-election was strongly criticised by opposition groups and his close Western allies.

The US and the European Union (EU) said Mr Kagame should step down to allow a new generation of leaders to emerge.

In 2015, Rwandans voted in a referendum, approving constitutional changes to allow him to run for three further terms and could potentially see him to stay in power until 2034.

His critics denounced the referendum as a sham.

Mr Kagame has dominated Rwandan politics since his rebel army ended the 1994 genocide.

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