- Title: Opponent of Rwandan president says there is fear ahead of vote
- Date: 1st August 2017
- Summary: RUHANGA, RWANDA (RECENT) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF KAGAME CAMPAIGN RALLY
- Embargoed: 15th August 2017 18:40
- Keywords: Rwanda election Rwandan President Paul Kagame opposition Professor Shadrack Gutto Diane Rwigara
- Location: KIGALI AND RUHANGA, RWANDA/ JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
- City: KIGALI AND RUHANGA, RWANDA/ JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
- Country: Rwanda
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0026SBSYFB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: As Rwanda votes in a presidential election on August 4, critics have complained of a lack of civil liberties in the east African country.
Among them is Diane Rwagira who was disqualified from contesting against President Paul Kagame. The National Electoral Commission said she did not meet set requirements, national media reported.
Her father died in a car accident in 2015 that her family maintains was politically motivated.
Kagame is widely admired for restoring stability to the East African nation after its 1994 genocide, presiding over rapid economic growth and a relatively corruption-free government.
But rights activists say that came at the expense of civil liberties. Some of Kagame's political opponents have been killed after they fled abroad, in cases that remain unsolved.
Already in power for 17 years, Kagame has predicted he will win overwhelming popular backing for a third term and brushed off accusations of stifling political debate.
Kagame is able to run for the third term only after constitutional changes were approved in a 2015 referendum by what the opposition and Western diplomats described as a suspiciously high 98 percent vote.
Appearing in one of his last rallies before the elections, Kagame told hundreds of cheering supporters of his Rwanda Patriotic Front that victory would ensure economic growth in the tiny East African nation.
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