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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Rwanda Elections stairs political repression in the African nation.

Washington - The United States congratulated Rwanda late Friday on its recent elections, but expressed concerns about alleged political repression in the African nation.
White House National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer congratulated the Rwandan people on the election and on progress since the 1994 genocide.

But he said the US was concerned "about a series of disturbing events," pointing to the suspension of two newspapers, the expulsion of a human rights researcher, the barring of two opposition parties from the election, and the arrest of journalists.

"Democracy is about more than holding elections," Hammer said in a statement. "A democracy reflects the will of the people, where minority voices are heard and respected, where opposition candidates run on the issues without threat or intimidation, where freedom of expression and freedom of the press are protected."

The White House called on the electoral commission to investigate any complaints, stressing that progress and stability would be difficult to sustain without broad political debate and participation.

Rwanda's president Paul Kagame won a landslide re-election with 93 per cent of the vote in the country's second presidential poll since the 1994 genocide.

However, human rights groups and political opponents accuse him of using the state to stifle real opposition. Observers said that while the poll was peaceful and well-organized, there were no credible opponents to Kagame.

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