16:02 GMT +313 December 2017
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    A picture taken 11 May 1994 in Buymba of Paul Kagame, leader of the Tutsi-led RPF (Rwandan Patriotic Front) shaking hands with an unidentified Canadian UN officer.

    Rwanda President Secures Third Term With 98% Votes

    © AFP 2017/ Gerard Julien
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    Paul Kagame has secured a third term in office after winning 98.66 percent of votes in the presidential poll.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Rwanda’s rebel leader turned president, Paul Kagame, has secured a third term in office after winning 98.66 percent of votes in the presidential poll, its electoral body said Saturday.

    With 74 percent of results counted, the president of the tiny East African nation was ahead of his two rivals with 5.4 million votes, according to the National Electoral Commission.

    Independent candidate Phillipe Mpayimana, who won 0.45 percent of votes or 24,904, conceded his defeat and congratulated Kagame, Rwanda’s The New Times daily reported.

    Frank Habineza, an opposition contender from the Democratic Green Party, came third with 0.72 percent of votes or 39,620. He lauded his challengers for doing a "great job with limited resources."

    Speaking at his Rwandan Patriotic Front party’s headquarters in Rusororo, Kagame reportedly thanked his supporters who initiated a referendum two years ago to allow him to seek reelection after staying in office for 17 years.

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