On 4 August 2017, Rwandans head to the polls to elect a president. They will choose between Frank Habineza, Philippe Mpayimana and the incumbent Paul Kagame. Most observers expect a landslide victory for Kagame. But there’s controversy around the election because of a 2015 constitutional amendment that allowed him to seek a third seven-year term followed by two further five-year terms. The Rwandan election is being watched closely by observers concerned about an erosion of democracy in the country. While some of these concerns are valid, they must be qualified against Rwanda’s historical and developmental realities. At best, Rwanda can be characterised as an illiberal democracy, but this should not detract from the current regime’s successes. Nor is it a suggestion that Kagame shouldn’t lead. Under his tenure the country has enjoyed year-on-year socio-economic progress. In most situations, this would secure electoral victory.Full Article: Election guide: what you need to know about the Rwandan presidential poll.
Aug 2 2017