Rwandan mayor in trouble for obstructing presidential campaigns

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The Mayor, Rubavu District Jeremie Sinamenye speaking during a gathering.

A Rwandan mayor has been arrested for preventing people from attending presidential campaign rallies, police said Friday.

Jeremy Sinamenye, mayor of Rubavu district in western Rwanda, was arrested following complaints about breach of presidential electoral laws, Assistant Commissioner of Police Theos Badege told reporters in Kigali, capital city of Rwanda.

The suspect is accused of violating presidential candidates’ rights, Badege said, adding that there are other suspects who are still at large as cases were reported in Nyagatare and Kirehe districts in eastern Rwanda, Nyaruguru district in the south and Rubavu district in the west.

“We urge all local leaders to uphold electoral laws during the campaign to avoid prosecution,” Badege said.

Violation of electoral laws is punishable by imprisonment of up to two years, according to the penal code of Rwanda.

There are three candidates in the Aug. 4 election: incumbent President Paul Kagame of the Rwanda Patriotic Front, Frank Habineza of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda and Philippe Mpayima, an independent.

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