Rwanda's President Paul Kagame said on Tuesday he will run for a second term in an August vote if his ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front party confirms recent primary results showing massive grassroots support for his leadership.
Rights groups have warned of a crackdown on opposition parties and the media in the run-up to the August 9 poll following the suspension of two private newspapers and the arrest of an opposition leader.
"It looks like I will stand and will continue with the mission of the RPF (Rwandan Patriotic Front) to continue with development of the country. I am confident RPF is going to win these elections," Kagame told reporters at State House.
Kagame won the presidency in 2003 after securing 95 percent of the vote, although analysts say he had been in de facto control of the country since 1994 when his Tutsi rebel army put an end to the 1994 genocide.
Kagame's administration has denied there is a political crisis in the country the World Bank voted the world's best business reformer in 2010.
Kagame softened his tone towards his political rivals after last month dismissing three emerging opposition parties as being formed by people with contempt for Rwanda.
"RPF is ready to enter into the election race and is ready to face anybody. The constitution accepts private candidates. I think it is healthy and I support it," said Kagame, promising a free and fair electoral process.
ReutersLast Mod: 12 Mayıs 2010, 00:10