Kigali 15 May 2010
Thousands of delegates of the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF-Inkotanyi) from across the country convened in Kigali at the Amahoro National Stadium in an extra-ordinary congress on May 15, 2010 to elect their party flag-bearer for the forthcoming Presidential elections scheduled for August 9th.
After the RPF Secretary General Ngarambe announced that all the other contenders had withdrawn their candidature in writing, the supporters enthusiastically elected by acclamation Paul Kagame, the party chairman, as the party’s presidential contestant in the August elections.
Paul Kagame’s endorsement followed his overwhelming recent victories in the party’s primaries, after competing with other party members, like Justus Kangwage in the Northern province, Charles Muligande in the Eastern province, and Josee Kagabo in Kigali municipality.
Besides the party members, the nomination ceremony was attended by representatives of the South Africa’s ruling party The RPF’s delegates’ congress attracted foreign dignitaries who included Burundi’s CNDD President, Jean Jacques Nyirimigabo and South Africa’s ANC Vice-President Patrick Herman.
Speaking after a thunderous applause in affirmation of his candidature, President Kagame, who will be running for a second seven-year term, thanked party members for the trust they still had in his leadership.
“Leaders change but party manifestos and plans never change, I believe the RPF has other people capable of leading the country in line with the party s plans,” Kagame said, noting that he was confident that the RPF will win the election not by guessing but by building on what has happened in the country.
“There is no president who has contributed to this country’s development like Kagame has, no one has won awards and medals like him. He has helped the poor get cows and women have a say. I don t think there is any other who can fit in his position,” said Domitilla Mukakarara, a resident of the Southern province.