Rwanda’s incumbent leader Paul Kagame has again won the presidential election for the third time, after 17 years in power.
Kagame, according to a final tally released by the National Electoral Commission on Saturday secured 98.63 percent of Friday’s vote while his opposition candidate Frank Habineza won 0.47 percent from a turnout of 96.42 percent in the country of 12 million people.
The 59-year-old former guerrilla leader has won international praise for presiding over a peaceful and rapid economic recovery in Rwanda since the 1994 genocide when an estimated 800,000 people Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed.
Kagame, in his address to supporters on Friday, said he would work to sustain economic growth.
“This is another seven years to take care of issues that affect Rwandans and ensure that we become real Rwandans who are (economically) developing,” he said in a speech broadcast live on television.
“What I saw during campaigns is that the decision to continue to lead you drew criticism mainly by foreigners but this proves that the referendum was for real purpose.”