President Kagame presents his re-election candidacy to NEC

By Wycliffe Nyamasege
On 17 May 2024 at 12:00

President Paul Kagame on Friday presented his re-election candidacy to the National Electoral Commission (NEC) ahead of the General Election slated for July 15.

The Head of State, vying for the presidency on the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) party ticket, was the first candidate to present his papers to the commission in the exercise that kicked off today at the Commission’s office in Kiyovu.

The President was accompanied by First Lady Jeannette Kagame, RPF Vice-Chairperson, RPF Secretary-General, and RPF commissioners.

NEC chairperson Oda Gasinzigwa verified the President’s papers and asserted that the candidate’s file was complete.

At least eight independent candidates have declared their interest to challenge Kagame in the forthcoming poll. Also on the list of candidates eyeing the presidency is Frank Habineza, the leader of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda.

To be cleared to run for the presidency, candidates must meet several requirements, including proof of Rwandan citizenship. The candidates must be at least 35 years of age, be of high integrity, and not have a history of criminal convictions resulting in sentences exceeding six months, among other requirements.

RPF endorses Kagame

President Kagame received a green light from the ruling party to run for a fourth term in office during the party’s meeting held in March, where he secured 99.1 per cent of the votes cast.

Welcoming his endorsement, Kagame said, "We know where this country has come from. I appreciate the apparent role you have played in that. I also appreciate the trust that you always and continue to place in me. The burden you have given me I have accepted to carry."

Kagame assumed the presidency in 2000, six years after leading the RPF rebel group to topple the Hutu-led regime that perpetrated the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

President Paul Kagame was accompanied to the NEC offices by First Lady Jeannette Kagame, RPF Vice-Chairperson, RPF Secretary-General, and RPF commissioners.