Rwandan Opposition Leader Barred from Participating in Upcoming Elections

Diane Rwigara, a prominent opponent of Rwandan President Paul Kagame, expressed her disappointment on Friday after being barred from running in next month’s election. Rwigara, leader of the People Salvation Movement, announced her candidacy in May but was missing from the provisional list of candidates released by the electoral commission last Thursday. The commission cited her failure to provide a criminal record statement and insufficient supporting signatures as reasons for the disqualification. Only Frank Habineza of the Democratic Green Party and independent Philippe Mpayimana were cleared to run against Kagame, with Rwigara joining other prominent opposition figures Bernard Ntaganda and Victoire Ingabire on the “barred from running” list. Rwigara had previously attempted to run against Kagame in 2017; however, she was disqualified over allegations of forged signatures, after which she was arrested, charged with forgery and inciting insurrection, and incarcerated for over a year.


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