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No one can challenge Kagame in Rwandan polls

Friday, May 5, 2017

Significance

The incumbent, President Paul Kagame, is also running after Rwanda voted in 2015 to allow him to extend term limits in a referendum. Rwigara is not the only candidate challenging Kagame, but the political system favours the incumbent and offers little opportunity for a significant opposition challenge. The electoral commission will receive official candidate nominations in the coming weeks before listing qualified candidates in early July.

Impacts

  • Kagame’s next term could start with economic challenges if the agricultural sector struggles.
  • Regional insecurity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Burundi poses a risk to domestic stability.
  • The government’s goal of becoming a middle-income country in the 2020s could prove overly ambitious.
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