Paul Kagame, the controversial president of Rwanda, has won a landslide victory in the small African state’s election, securing a third term in office and extending his 17 years in power. The result will surprise no one, inside or outside Rwanda. Kagame, 59, has won international praise for the stability and economic development he has brought Rwanda since the 1994 genocide, when an estimated 800,000 people were killed, but he has also been accused of running an authoritarian, one-party state. Some have dismissed the polls as a sham. Friday’s election came after a constitutional amendment, which ended a two-term limit for presidents and theoretically permits Kagame to remain in power until 2034. The amendment was approved by 98% of voters.
In the final tally for Friday’s election, he won almost 99% of votes cast, said Kalisa Mbanda, chairman of the National Electoral Commission.
The board expects turnout in the east African country of 12 million people to have topped 90% in an election that fielded only a single opposition candidate, Frank Habineza, and an independent.