Breaking news
Scotland cleans up after Storm Ali -
Brexit: May urges EU leaders to consider 'serious' UK plans -
County Louth: Man charged over fatal stabbing -
Colombia cocaine production acreage at 'record level' -
Justin Bieber serenades fiancee outside Buckingham Palace -
'Downton Abbey' movie release date revealed -
Pogba scores two as Man Utd ease to win over Young Boys -
Middlesbrough go second with win over Bolton -
Ronaldo sent off on Juventus debut -

News24.com | Ruling party to sweep Rwanda parliament poll

News24.com | Ruling party to sweep Rwanda parliament poll
News24.com | Ruling party to sweep Rwanda parliament poll

Rwanda's ruling party was set to win three-quarters of directly elected parliamentary seats in this week's poll, provisional results showed on Tuesday.

Long-time ruler President Paul Kagame's Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), and its seven smaller allied parties, had 75% of the votes after Monday's election, with 70% of ballots counted.

Final results are not due until 16 September.

Parties were vying for 53 of the country's 80 directly elected parliamentary seats of which 24 are reserved for women, two for youth and one for the disabled, all chosen by special councils and national committees.

Instead of voting for individual lawmakers, Rwandans vote for a party which then decides the candidates to enter parliament.

To win at least one seat, a party has to get at least five percent of the total votes cast.

Once again the country's only critical opposition, the Green Party, appeared unlikely to win a single parliamentary seat after taking just 4.5% of the vote, according to preliminary results.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

Green Party leader Frank Habineza won only 0.45% of the vote in last year's presidential election, won by Kagame with 99%.

Another opposition aspirant, Diane Rwigara, was blocked from contesting that presidential election before being arrested and charged with treason.

Nearly all of Rwanda's seven million registered voters took part in Monday's legislative vote, according to the National Election Commission.

The projected 75% for the RPF would represent a slight decline since the last parliamentary poll five years ago, but still guarantees the ruling party's dominance.

Despite winning widespread praise for the high level of female representation in Rwanda's parliament, the legislature does not challenge Kagame, preferring to act as a rubber stamp for his initiatives.

Three years ago parliament unanimously approved a plan to hold a constitutional referendum that changed presidential term limits, clearing the way for Kagame to stay in power until 2034.

The outgoing parliament has also approved harsh prison terms for journalists publishing cartoons deemed "embarrassing to government authorities".

Kagame has been the de-facto leader of Rwanda since 1994 when, as a 36-year-old, his rebel army routed extremist Hutu forces who slaughtered an estimated 800 000 people - mainly minority Tutsis - and seized Kigali.

Kagame is hailed for his role in halting the genocide and turning around Rwanda's economy but criticised for his iron-fisted rule with rights groups regularly accusing him of ruling through fear and crushing free speech.

Get the latest news delivered to your inbox

Follow us on social media networks

PREV 'Diffyg hyder' yn system gwynion y Cynulliad
NEXT Paul Collingwood: Durham's former England captain to retire at end of season