The Latest: Rwanda president with 99 percent support so far
KIGALI, Rwanda (AP) — The Latest on Rwanda’s presidential election (all times local):
With 40 percent of the polls reporting, President Paul Kagame is leading Rwanda’s presidential election with over 99 percent of the vote.
Neither of his challengers — Frank Habineza and Philippe Mpayimana — has reached the 1 percent mark so far, according to preliminary results announced by the electoral commission Friday night.
Kagame won 93 percent of the vote in the 2010 presidential election.
Preliminary results from Rwanda’s election show the long-time president with a strong lead against his two challengers.
Rwanda’s electoral commission is releasing results from about 20 percent of the total votes cast, but provisional results will be announced Saturday afternoon.
Results from some rural districts show President Paul Kagame with numbers exceeding 95 percent.
Kagame has led the East African nation of 12 million people since the end of its genocide in 1994.
The 59-year-old president has been praised for the country’s economic growth, but human rights groups accuse his government of using state powers to silence opponents. Rwandan authorities deny it.
A constitutional amendment in 2015 allows Kagame to stay in power until 2034 if he pursues it.
Rwandans are voting in an election that the country’s longtime president is widely expected to win.
President Paul Kagame is running against Frank Habineza of the opposition Democratic Green Party and independent candidate Philippe Mpayimana.
There are long queues Friday morning in the capital Kigali, where all the candidates are registered to vote.
Kagame won the 2010 election with 93 percent of the vote.
The 59-year-old has been de-facto leader or president of the nation of 12 million people since his rebels ended the 1994 genocide. While he remains popular for presiding over economic growth, critics accuse him of using the powers of the state to remove perceived opponents.
Rwanda has about 6.9 million registered voters.
Polls close at 3 p.m. local time, and provisional results are expected late Friday.