"I am not going to stop here. I urge all citizens to join be so we can become stronger for the next election."

CELEBRATION

Rwandans celebrated Kagame's win in muted fashion, with no spontaneous large gatherings in the disciplined nation.

Inside a gymnasium in the capital music and dancers entertained hundreds of party loyalists who celebrated into the morning.

"We are celebrating the presidential election," one young man said as he danced.

"We are celebrating Paul Kagame!" another yelled out next to him.

DESPOT
Kagame has been the de facto leader of Rwanda since, as a 36-year-old, his rebel army routed extremist Hutu forces who slaughtered an estimated 800,000 people — mainly minority Tutsis — and seized Kigali in 1994.

He was first appointed president by lawmakers in 2000.

The lanky former guerrilla fighter is one of Africa's most divisive leaders, with some hailing him as a visionary while critics see a despot aiming to become one of the continent's presidents-for-life.

REPRESSION
Kagame is credited with a remarkable turnaround in the shattered nation, which boasts annual economic growth of about seven per cent, is safe, clean and does not tolerate corruption.

Rwanda also has the highest number of female lawmakers in the world.

However, rights groups accuse Kagame of ruling through fear, relying on systematic repression of the opposition, free speech and the media.

Kagame's critics have ended up jailed, forced into exile or assassinated.

Few Rwandans would dare to openly speak against him.

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