- Title: Rwandan opposition candidate Habineza casts vote, hopes for big win
- Date: 4th August 2017
- Summary: MORE OF REGIONAL OBSERVERS ENTERING A ROOM
- Embargoed: 18th August 2017 10:46
- Keywords: Observers Rwandan election Electoral commission officials opposition leader Frank Habineza hopes for big win Paul Kagame
- Location: KIGALI, RWANDA
- City: KIGALI, RWANDA
- Country: Rwanda
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA0056SQQDDZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Rwandan presidential hopeful Frank Habineza cast his vote on Friday (August 4) hoping to remove Paul Kagame after 17 years in power.
Incumbent Kagame is tipped to win by a landslide, but Habineza voted with confidence, telling press and supporters in Kigali that he expected a "big victory".
After casting his vote, Habineza said he faced a lot of challenges during his campaign and claimed school children were used to throw stones at his supporters.
Kagame has won international plaudits for presiding over a peaceful and rapid economic recovery in the central African nation since the 1994 genocide, when an estimated 800,000 people Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed.
Critics and rights groups say there have been widespread human rights abuses, a muzzling of independent media and the killing of political opponents after they fled abroad.
The government denies any involvement and the unsolved cases appear to have done little to blunt Kagame's domestic standing among Rwanda's 12 million citizens.
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