Rwanda’s opposition parties are gearing up for the presidential elections

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In a bid to create some competition for incumbent president Paul Kagame, Independent candidate Diane Shima Rwigara has declared her interest to run for the presidency ahead of Rwanda’s election in August.

She revealed her ambitious manifesto which entails eradicating poverty in the East African nation. “I will be tackling poverty, I will be tackling injustice, I will be tackling insecurity. In the last 23 years RPF has been in power, they have not been able, not only to eradicate poverty but even to give Rwandans the minimum, most Rwandans are dying of hunger, they have nowhere to live,” said Diane.

Rwanda’s Electoral Commission is expected to receive nominations from candidates from June 12 to 23. A provisional list of qualified candidates will be announced on June 27.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame is running for a third term after succeeding in getting himself constitutionally eligible to run again in a referendum last year, which could see him remain in power till 2034.

In an attempt to bring attention to Kagame’s hold on power, Diane remarked “When time comes for leaders to leave power, they get excuses to stay and then say that it is the people who are asking them to continue to lead. This is a bad habit across the continent.”

Opposition parties are actively making a bid to provide Rwandans with new leadership. Last month, the head of Rwanda’s opposition Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, Frank Habineza, was selected as his party’s candidate. The party is the only registered opposition party to Kagame’s government.

Though Kagame is expected to win the August election, it is expected to see if he will release his tight rein on press freedom and quell the scourge of human rights abuses in Rwanda.

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