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SLUG: 2-306978 Rwanda Election (L-O)
DATE:
NOTE NUMBER:

DATE=8/29/03

TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT (L-ONLY)

TITLE=RWANDA / ELECTION

NUMBER=2-306978

BYLINE=CATHY MAJTENYI

DATELINE=NAIROBI

CONTENT=

VOICED AT:

INTRO: Rwanda's electoral commission has rejected findings of European Union observers that there were a number of irregularities and fraud in the country's recent presidential election. Cathy Majtenyi reports from East Africa.

TEXT: The head of Rwanda's National Electoral Commission, Chrisologue Karangwa, accuses E-U election observers of being biased in favour of Faustin Twagiramungu, the leading rival to President Paul Kagame.

/// KARANGWA ACT ///

What is said in their report comes from Mr. Twagiramungu's office.

/// END ACT ///

Mr. Karangwa maintains that the August 25 election, which saw Mr. Kagame capture 95 percent of the vote, was free and fair.

On Wednesday, the head of the E-U's observer mission, Colette Flesch, told reporters that, while the presidential election was an important step for democracy in the central African country, it could not be called free and fair.

The E-U says it found numerous irregularities, including voter intimidation by Mr. Kagame's supporters, ballot box stuffing, and fictitious voter lists.

But Mr. Karangwa disputes these observations, saying that E-U observers were making what he called political rather than electoral observations.

/// KARANGWA 2ND ACT ///

Their political observations were not based on real proof.

/// END ACT ///

Monday's presidential election was the first in Rwanda since the genocide of 1994, in which Hutu extremists killed up to one million Tutsis and moderate Hutus. (Signed)

NEB/CM/MAR/FC



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