KIGALI, Tuesday - Incumbent President Paul Kagame won 95.05 percent of the vote in Rwandaâ€™s first presidential polls since a 1994 genocide, according to provisional results released by the election commission on Tuesday.
The candidate regarded as Kagameâ€™s strongest challenger, Faustin Twagiramungu, won 3.62 percent and a third candidate, Jean Nepomuscene Nayinzira, had 1.33 percent.
Rwandaâ€™s electoral commission said Kagame had won the first multiparty elections since the country got independence from Belgium in 1962. Twagiramungu rejected the result.
â€œThe winner is His Excellency Paul Kagame,â€ Cheikh Mussa Fazil, the commissionâ€™s vice-president, told Reuters, adding that all returns from Mondayâ€™s voting had now been counted.
Twagiramungu, said he could not accept provisional results giving Kagame 95.05 percent of the vote.
â€œI do not accept this election...Thatâ€™s not democracy. They are trying to have a Stalinist style one-party system. Almost 100 percent? Thatâ€™s not possible. I will write a letter to the Supreme Court.â€
Both Twagiramungu and the third candidate Jean Nepomuscene Nayinzira have said their supporters have been harassed by Kagameâ€™s agents and voters were intimidated into choosing him. Police say they are probing all complaints of harassment that they have received but have not found any evidence so far of such action by Kagameâ€™s Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). Kagame denies harassment and says Twagiramungu has used ethnic propaganda to win votes. Twagiramungu denies that charge.
Earlier, Kagame told an overnight victory rally at the capitalâ€™s Amahoro (Peace) stadium. â€œThis is a true victory, irreversible, and not a surprise.
â€œOur victory should serve as a lesson to the outside world, that Rwanda is on the right path,â€ Kagame said, holding aloft his fist in a gesture of triumph. â€œOur victory means that even our opponents should join us in building our country.â€
Analysts and human rights groups say that while Kagame supporters are happy to voice their opinions, others are too nervous to speak freely.
Observers said voting passed off peacefully, although a European Union observer raised concerns about allegations of intimidation of opposition supporters during campaigning.
Provisional results released earlier from some 50 out of Rwandaâ€™s 106 districts showed Kagame had won 94.3 percent.
Kagame Gets 95%