Election guide: what you need to know about the Rwandan presidential poll

Pamela Abbott, Thomas Stubbs

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


On 4 August 2017, Rwandans head to the polls to elect a president. They will choose between Frank Habineza, Philippe Mpayimana and the incumbent Paul Kagame.

Most observers expect a landslide victory for Kagame. But there’s controversy around the election because of a 2015 constitutional amendment that allowed him to seek a third seven-year term followed by two further five-year terms.

The Rwandan election is being watched closely by observers concerned about an erosion of democracy in the country. While some of these concerns are valid, they must be qualified against Rwanda’s historical and developmental realities.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationThe Conversation
PublisherThe Conversation UK
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jul 2017

Bibliographical note

Pamela Abbott has previously received funding from the Government of Rwanda. She is affiliated with the Institute of Policy Analysis and Research-Rwanda.

Thomas Stubbs does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.


  • Paul Kagame
  • Rwandan Patriotic Front
  • 1994 genocide
  • Peace and Security


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