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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 August, 2003, 14:11 GMT 15:11 UK
Text of Kagame's victory speech
Rwanda President Paul Kagame addresses supporters
A landslide victory for Paul Kagame

Rwandan President Paul Kagame addressed a crowd of supporters at Kigali's largest football stadium in the early hours of Tuesday after preliminary results indicated that he was well on the way to victory in the country's presidential elections.

The following is the text of the president's speech broadcast live by Rwandan radio:

"It is a victory for all Rwandans, it is a clear victory. It is a victory which tells everyone that the way we achieved it is the same way we shall achieve all our other goals.

It is a victory which also reassures the losers [words indistinct]. It is a victory which tells each of us present here that he has to listen to us and respect our wishes.

It is a victory which reminds everyone that Rwandans respect themselves and there is no reason for them not to be respected.

It is a victory which tells those who think that they are experts on Rwanda that they cheat themselves. [Crowd cheering, person shouts "Kagame oyeh", crowds responds "oyeh"].

It is a victory which tells that we Rwandans know what we want.

New beginning

It is a victory which tells us that there is still a lot to be done ahead. It is a victory which does not bring all solutions but provides us with a beginning.

It is a victory for women, men, the youth and everybody.

Dear Rwandans, this is a victory for everybody, a victory which gives us hope, that we should continue to support the unity of Rwandans, strengthen the democratic ideals for which we won today, a democracy which strengthens development [applause, cheering, person shouting: "Women, men, the youth, Rwandans."].

It is a victory which contradicts the prophets of doom Rwandans, it is a victory to celebrate and to hail the many things we already achieved and shall achieve.

It is a victory for the courage of all Rwandans, including the elderly, the handicapped, the girls, the youth, small children and everybody.

I would like to thank you for the hours you spent here, your sacrifice, your happiness, the work you did and everything. I would like to reassure you that it will not be in vain.

It is a victory which should reassure all, including those who did not contribute to it. [Person shouts: "Unity, Rwandans, the victory of Rwandans oyeh"].

God be with you, go to sleep with the victory, always be with victory, thank you."

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

The BBC's Andrew Harding
"The celebrations started long before the first official results"


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