* Opponents say election marred by repression, violence
(Adds opposition leader, vote details, background)
By Hereward Holland
KIGALI, Aug 11 (Reuters) - Rwandan President Paul Kagame won
93 percent of the vote in an election that opponents said was
marred by repression and violence.
The bush war veteran won 4,638,560 votes from a total of
5,178,492 registered voters in the central African country, the
National Electoral Commission (NEC) said.
Kagame, widely lauded for rebuilding Rwanda and establishing
peace in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide, won the last
election in 2003 by a similar margin.
"We are very happy with the conduct of the electoral
process, from the campaign to the voting itself. We did not get
reports of intimidation from anywhere," said Charles Munyaneza,
executive secretary of the electoral body.
The vote count is provisional pending its signing-off by the
Supreme Court. Turnout for Monday's election was more than 95
percent in all the nation's five provinces.
Kagame's nearest rival, Jean Damascene Ntawukuliryayo of the
Social Democratic Party, won 5 percent. Prosper Higiro of the
Liberal Party garnered just over 1 percent and Alvera
Mukabaramba of the Party for Peace and Concord 0.4 percent.
Opponents said the other candidates were a democratic
smokescreen and stooges of Kagame's Rwandan Patriotic Front
(RPF). They also said the campaign playing field had been
uneven, with three would-be opposition candidates prevented from
registering to contest the ballot.
One of them, Victoire Ingabire, head of the United
Democratic Forces party who faces charges of funding rebels in
neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo and espousing genocide
ideology, rejected the result.
"People were not free to vote. They take all measures to
threaten opposition, they take all measures to prevent people
voting freely. Why don't they give him 100 percent?" she said.
Human rights groups have pointed to mounting violence during
the run-up to the election after the shooting dead of a local
journalist and the killing of an opposition official who was
found nearly beheaded in July.
Commonwealth observers said on Tuesday voting had been
peaceful and organised but that French-speaking Rwanda, which
joined the Commonwealth group of nations late last year, needed
to address issues of political participation and media freedoms.
Kagame has been in control of the land-locked nation of 10
million people since his rebel army swept to power in the
aftermath of the genocide of 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate
Hutus in 1994.
Despite being poor in natural resources, Rwanda is a rising
star in Africa for donors and investors with Kagame feted as a
visionary leader and African icon. The International Monetary
Fund forecasts its economy will expand by an average of 6
percent in the medium term.
But rights groups claim the peace, stability and development
have cost the nation freedom of expression and a free press and
say Kagame's leadership has become increasingly autocratic.
(Writing by Richard Lough; editing by David Clarke and Janet