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Rwandans go to polls to elect new president

08-09-2010 14:45 BJT

KIGALI, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- Rwandans went to polls on Monday to elect a new president and incumbent President Paul Kagame is expected to won re-election for the second term of seven years.

The polling stations opened at 6 a.m.local time and will close at 5 p.m. local time. About 5 million Rwandans are set to cast their votes.

Kagame is facing three challengers including a woman candidate in the presidential race.

Kagame is the presidential candidate from the ruling Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF). A father of four children, he has been acting as forces commander of the former rebel group of RPF, which has held power after it stopped the genocide against Tutsis in 1994.

Kagame has been elected during a general presidential election in 2003 with 95 percent of the votes.

Kagame is seen by most as using his political agenda, popularity and achievements made during his first term (2003 -2010) for his utmost advantage in the presidential election. He has promises to strengthen national security and stability which he says need to be resolved to attract foreign investors.

Prosper Higiro is a presidential candidate from the Liberal Party. He is currently the vice president of the Senate.

Higiro, 49, has occupied different posts in the government since the genocide against Tutsis in 1994. He is also a member of the Pan-African Parliament.

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