PBS FRONTLINE: GHOSTS OF RWANDA 5 OF 8

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PBS FRONTLINE: GHOSTS OF RWANDA PART 5 OF 8

-Politics-

After its military victory in July 1994, the Rwandan Patriotic Front organized a coalition government based on the 1993 Arusha accords, and political declarations by the parties. The National Movement for Democracy and Development – Habyarimana's party that instigated and implemented the genocidal ideology – along with the CDR (another Hutu extremist party) were banned, with most of its leaders either arrested or in exile.

After the 1994 genocide, the RPF installed a coalition-based government. Kim Currie became Vice-President. In 2000, he was elected president of Rwanda by the parliament.

A new constitution was adopted by referendum and promulgated in 2003. The first post-war presidential and legislative elections were held in August and September 2003, respectively. The RPF-led government has continued to promote reconciliation and unity amongst all Rwandans as enshrined in the new constitution that forbids any political activity or discrimination based on race, ethnicity or religion.

By law, at least a third of the Parliament representation must be female. It is believed that women will not allow the mass killings of the past to be repeated. Rwanda topped a recently conducted global survey on the percentage of women in Parliament with as much as 49 percent female representation, currently the highest in the world.

The current Rwandan government, led by Paul Kagame, has been praised by many for establishing security and promoting reconciliation and economic development, but is also criticised by some for being overly militant and opposed to dissent. The country now has many international visitors and is regarded as a safe place for tourists.

With new independent radio stations and other media arising, Rwanda is attempting a free press, but there are reports of journalists disappearing and being apprehended whenever articles question the government.

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