EU commends Rwanda on “calm atmosphere” during elections

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Kigali: The European Union congratulated Rwanda on Wednesday for completing the 2010 elections in which incumbent President Kagame won 93.08 percent of the votes, RNA reports.

“These elections constitute a new stage in Rwanda's democratic process and development,” said EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs.

“We congratulate Rwanda for the organisation of the Presidential Elections on 9 August 2010, in particular the calm atmosphere and the very high turnout of voters.”

However, the two said in the joint statement that “some progress remains to be made in ensuring fundamental freedoms, and freedom of the media.”

“The EU is still concerned about the serious incidents which marred the pre-electoral period and urges the Rwandese authorities to ensure that the investigations and judicial proceedings regarding these events are carried out in full transparency and as rapidly as possible,” said the two officials. 

The EU did not send observers for the August 09 polls, instead funded an Election Expert Team to follow the electoral process.

Ashton and Piebalgs called for: “Further opening of the political space and strengthening the public debate throughout the country would significantly contribute to safeguarding Rwanda's achievements and will benefit all Rwandese.”