Rwanda’s incumbent President, Paul Kagame, who is seeking a third term in office, attended a rally in Ruhengeri where thousands of supporters turned up to listen.
He is widely admired for restoring stability after Rwanda’s 1994 genocide, presiding over rapid economic growth and a relatively corruption-free government.
But rights activists say those achievements have come at the expense of civil liberties.
Some of Kagame’s political opponents have been killed after they fled abroad, in cases that remain unsolved.
Opposition candidate Frank Habineza, of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda (DPGR), attended a rally in Rulindo.
He was elected to oppose Kagame in a Green Party congress of about 400 members.
His platform includes investing in agriculture, increasing salaries for the security forces and ending political detentions.
Kagame faces Habineza and independent candidate Philippe Mpayimana on August 4. Diane Shima Rwigara, a 35-year-old accountant and the only female presidential candidate was disqualified by authorities saying she failed to meet requirements.
– By REUTERS