Rwanda's Kagame wins re-election by landslide

The Rwandan National Electoral Commission (NEC) on Wednesday released the final results of the presidential elections, declaring that Paul Kagame won the third term.

According to NEC, the incumbent president Kagame won 98.79% of the vote, with over 6.6 million votes.

Independent candidate Philippe Mpayimana stood at second with 0.73% of the vote, while candidate Frank Habineza of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda got 0.48% of the vote.

"The elections were free and fair. Paul Kagame is the winner of the Rwanda presidential elections 2017. These final results are a consolidation of votes from all over Rwanda and the Diaspora," said Kalisa Mbanda, chairman of the NEC.

Around 6.9 million people had cast their ballots last week, making the turnout 98.15 percent, according to the NEC.

The NEC declared Kagame as the winner of the presidential elections last Saturday, citing provisional results.

Mpayimana and Habineza conceded defeat after the release of the provisional results.

Kagame, who is also the chairman of the ruling party, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), has been president since 2000 when he was elected by ministers and members of parliament following the resignation of then President Pasteur Bizimungu.

He was re-elected in the 2003 and 2010 presidential elections by winning around 95% and 93% of votes, respectively.

Rwanda, which has been recovering since the 1994 genocide, is now considered a model for developing countries, especially African ones. - SAnews.gov.za-Xinhua