Rwanda: Opposition Leader Frank Habineza Submits Presidential Candidacy

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Frank Habineza, the Member of Parliament and founder of the Democratic Green Party, the only authorized opposition party in Rwanda, has formally submitted his candidacy for the upcoming presidential election. This move follows an initial incomplete submission the previous day. Habineza becomes the second candidate to officially enter the race, following incumbent President Paul Kagame, for the election scheduled on July 15, which will coincide with the legislative elections.

Optimism for a Second Presidential Run

After submitting the remaining documents to the electoral commission on Tuesday, Habineza expressed optimism about his second attempt at the presidency. Reflecting on the 2017 elections, he noted, “During the last elections, our party was very young, having been registered only four years prior. But now, we have established structures at both district and national levels. In 2018, we entered Parliament. Our support base has grown, and we have delivered on our promises. What we pledge now, we are confident we can achieve.”

In addition to his presidential bid, Habineza also filed the candidacies of 64 party members for the legislative elections. His goal is to increase the party’s representation from the two seats they currently hold. With less than two months until the elections, Habineza is prepared to challenge President Kagame, who is seeking a fourth term.

“We are not afraid,” Habineza asserted. “Our party has grown and has been diligent since its inception. We have faced many challenges but have overcome them. We are always ready to confront any new challenges that arise. We fear nothing and are hopeful of performing better in these elections.”

Other presidential and legislative hopefuls have until May 30 to submit their candidacies to the electoral commission, which will announce the final list of candidates on June 14. As the political climate heats up, all eyes will be on the commission’s final decision, setting the stage for a significant electoral contest in Rwanda.

Soukaina Sghir

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