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Early results hand Kagame easy victory

Aug. 10, 2010 at 11:04 AM
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KIGALI, Rwanda, Aug. 10 (UPI) -- Preliminary results from this week's election in Rwanda indicate incumbent President Paul Kagame won by a landslide.

Kagame gained popularity when as a guerrilla leader he helped restore security to a country plagued by a devastating genocide campaign in 1994.

Voters turned out in record numbers Monday to cast their ballots. Kagame, seeking his second term as Rwandan president, ran against three other candidates who were closely aligned with his ruling platform.

Preliminary results released Tuesday show Kagame would win a second term with 90 percent of the vote, The Wall Street Journal reports. He won his first term as president in 2005 with 95 percent of the vote.

Kagame faced criticism from opponents who said he systematically wiped out many political rivals. South Africa last week recalled its ambassador to Rwanda over an assassination attempt on an outspoken critic to the Rwanda president.

Kagame deflected the criticism Monday, saying the international community was looking at his country through the lens of the genocide campaign.

Kagame, the Journal adds, is credited with ushering in a bustling economy that expects 5 percent growth in 2010.

There were no reports of irregularities at the polls as of Tuesday.

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