Rwanda parliamentary elections expected to solidify ruling party control

Rwanda parliamentary elections expected to solidify ruling party control

Rwandans will head to the polls over the next few days to vote in 80 members to the country’s lower

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Photo: Reuters

Rwandans will head to the polls over the next few days to vote in 80 members to the country’s lower house of parliament for five-year terms.

The election will run from Sunday until Tuesday, with 53 members from Rwanda’s various political parties to be voted for today. Tomorrow will see Rwandans vote for one MP representing people living with disabilities, while 24 members representing women and two representing youth will be elected on Tuesday. Over seven million people are expected to participate in the elections, of which there are some 500 candidates vying for seats.

After Paul Kagame won last year’s presidential election with some 99% of the vote, it is widely expected his Rwandan Patriotic Front party will retain a strong presence in Rwanda’s lower house. Despite concerns that Rwanda is becoming increasingly authoritarian, Kagame remains an immensely popular figure in the country.

While a strong showing today will further cement the president’s grip on power, it will also allow the country to maintain policies that have seen Rwanda develop rapidly this century and achieve economic growth of 6.1% last year.

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