Rwanda's opposition candidate concedes defeat

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-05 22:30:58|Editor: yan
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KIGALI, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- Frank Habineza of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda (DGPR), Saturday conceded defeat in Rwanda's presidential election conducted on Friday.

Speaking at a press conference in Rwandan capital Kigali on Saturday, Habineza acknowledged that there is always a loser and winner in any contest.

"It is clear that Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) candidate has won and we hope our manifesto as well will be taken into consideration because we have some things we believe can transform this country," he said.

Habineza campaigned on pledge to promote food security, reinforce the rule of law in the country, reduce taxes, and grow more environment-friendly economy.

He commended their supporters for what he described as giving them inspiration to continue push for democracy and freedom in the east African country.

He said they saw overwhelming support on the campaign trail and would not give up on the democratic struggle. "We promise to move forward for a better Rwanda," he said.

Earlier Friday Habineza cast his vote at Kimironko Primary School II in Kigali with wife. He had said he was confident, given the support the party received countrywide during the campaign trail.

He spent Friday afternoon in a hotel following and waiting the results. He later went to the National Electoral Commission Friday night when results started to be released but later left saying he would comment later.

But his Saturday message was a stark contrast from Habineza's Friday confidence.

"Yes we had high expectations to win but in elections you have to wait until the final results are announced. As I said we are not pleased with the outcome but we congratulate the winner," he said.

He said he had on Friday pondered to resign as party head but the counsel of his party members prevailed.

His supporters became despondent as they watched even the independent candidate garnering more votes.

"I'm disappointed," said 35-year old Steven Ndayambaje in Kimironko, who said he was a strong supporter of the Green Party candidate. "I just can't even imagine that even a man who returned recently in the country could beat my candidate."

About 6.9 million participated in the election from 5.7 million who participated in 2010 presidential elections, according to the National Electoral Commission (NEC).

Preliminary results from NEC show that Kagame won 98.66 percent of 80 percent of votes cast at national level.

Kagame's two rivals, independent candidate Philippe Mpayimana and Habineza got 0.72 percent and 0.45 percent respectively.