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Décor at dressed-up polling stations (Photos)

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Kigali: The National Electoral Commission may come under fire over the credibility of the August 09 presidential poll, but one thing for which it will get credit is the elaborate planning and decoration that was seen at different polling stations. Reuters photographer Finbarr O'Reilly takes note of the elaborate decor used at polls in Kigali on Election Day.

Pink Poll
Paul Kagame is expected to win in Rwanda's first election since 2003 and the second since the nation's 1994 genocide. Several polling stations in Kigali, the capital, were festooned in bright colors and designs for election day.

Native Theme
Observers report that Rwandans turned out in large numbers for the vote. Its outcome is all but certain: President Kagame had no credible opposition in the vote and was said to win as many as 98 percent of the ballots at some stations.

National Colors
This polling station is decorated with the colors of the Rwandan flag.

Analysts say Kagame will win because of the economic growth and stability he has delivered during a decade in power, but also because of his suppression of rivals and critics.

Red Lights and Couch
An election official waits for voters.

Bunting and Bows
In the 2003 election, Kagame won by a landslide, getting 95% of the vote.

Layered Effect
Many voters arose before dawn to make it to the polls.


Ballot Box
A young Rwandan man casts his ballot. Of his plans for the future, Kagame said it was not his job to foster an opposition. His focus would remain on economic growth. "We are already on a good footing, and we want to attract more investment in the country and grow our trade with the region and beyond," he said.



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