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RPF already preparing massive victory party

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Kigali: The polling centers have not even opened, but the dominant RPF has invited hundreds of thousands to a massive victory fete to be held in the Amahoro National Stadium with free food and drinks, RNA exclusively reports. The RPF defended the party.

In a message sent out to supporters Sunday late evening, the RPF says all supporters are welcome for the party in the stadium at 1900 (1700GMT). There will be food and drink, says the message, which RNA also received.

The message was sent through the mass-messaging system of MTN – which means all the about 1.6million MTN subscribers got the message.

“Tomorrow evening, RPF members will be converging at Amahoro stadium such that we wait together for preliminary results for the election!,” reads the message in part.

“[Please] come around 7pm. There will be drinks, eats and music! [Please] spread the news! Cheers.”

Put to Mr. Ignatius Kabagambe, Director General in the Ministry of Information, that such an invitation was preempting the results when the polls have not even opened, he was forceful. He is also handling the RPF media relations.

"That's anticipating victory instead. Confidence," he said in an SMS.

In the 2003 election, tens of thousands camped in the same stadium all night till preliminary results were announced at about 3am the following morning. The results released at a press conference, and broadcast live on state TV and radio, showed incumbent Paul Kagame had more than 95% of the votes – leaving the rest for his three challengers. 

President Kagame would be declared winner with 95.6 percent in the afternoon of the same day – which results were also validated by the Supreme Court as the final tally. 

Right from the beginning of the campaigning season July 20, the RPF has been sending regular messages urging people to back their candidate. These messages have been received by subscribers of the three local telecoms MTN, Rwandatel and TiGO.  

This essentially means that by using this system of mass-messaging, the RPF has been reaching out to more than 2million people at the same time.

It was not clear by press time if the party invitation message had been sent though the three companies.  




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