Diane Rwigara unlisted from Rwanda’s presidential election

This comes as a shock to the 42-year-old daughter of former Rwanda Patriotic Front banker Assinapol Rwigara, who died in a car accident in February 2015, which the...

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The National Electoral Commission (NEC) of Rwanda has once again shattered Ms. Diane Rwigara’s ambition to contest for president in the elections scheduled for July 14.

The NEC announced a provisional list of candidates on Thursday night, and only the three contenders from the 2017 presidential race were included.

Paul Kagame, the incumbent, will again take on Frank Habineza of the Green Party and independent Phillippe Mpayimana in an attempt to prolong his rule over the country of central Africa for 30 years.

This comes as a shock to the 42-year-old daughter of former Rwanda Patriotic Front banker Assinapol Rwigara, who died in a car accident in February 2015, which the family believes was the result of foul play. While submitting her documents last week, Rwigara had full hopes of being in the presidential candidacy list.

“I am hoping to be on it this time,” said Ms Rwigara said on Tuesday after submitting nomination forms with as many as 930 signatures gathered from the 30 districts of the country.

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However, NEC Chairperson Oda Gasinzigwa stated that Rwigara had not submitted prerequisites, such as a criminal history, and that there were some discrepancies with the signatures supporting her bid for president.

According to Ms. Gasinzigwa, the candidates left outside still have five working days to submit in the missing paperwork, but Ms. Rwigara is unlikely to pass because the deadline for signatures was closed on May 30.

In 2017 Rwigara was barred from the presidential candidacy due to allegations that she had faked the signatures of deceased people. She was also subjected to the vulgarity and coarseness of politics due to her purportedly naked images appeared on social media.

Rwigara was later arrested, along with her mother Adeline and sister Anne, and charged with forgery and tax evasion.

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The other five who have been locked out of the race are Jean Mbanda, a former lawmaker, Fred Barafinda Sekikubo- who like Ms Rwigara- was kicked out in 2017, two teachers Thomas Habimana and Innocent Hakizimana, and Herman Manirareba, whose vision is to turn Rwanda into a monarch under his absolute rule.

Two opposition figures, Victoire Ingabire and Bernard Ntaganda, who were both arrested in 2010 and jailed after sticking their necks out to challenge Kagame’s stronghold on Rwanda, were earlier barred from the election by contested court decisions.

President Kagame has ruled Rwanda since 1994 after stopping the Genocide against the Tutsi – although for the first nine years he played in the shadows as a vice president and defence minister before taking the complete reins in 2003.

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