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Brussels, 11 August 2010
Statement by the High Representative Catherine Ashton and EU Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs on the Presidential Elections in Rwanda
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.
These elections constitute a new stage in Rwanda's democratic process and development. At the same time, we note 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.
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.
The EU sent out an Election Expert Team to follow the electoral process, and provided financial support to the National Electoral Commission and civil society.