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How campaigns are unfolding on social media

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Since the official launch of campaigns for the 2024 general elections on June 22, presidential and parliamentary candidates have been actively engaging with the public both in person and through social media platforms.

In the presidential campaigns, incumbent Paul Kagame began his campaign trail in Musanze and Rubavu, while Democratic Green Party’s Frank Habineza started in Gasabo and Kamonyi, and independent candidate Philippe Mpayimana kicked-off his rallies in Kirehe and Ngoma.

On the ground, as expected, Kagame attracted mammoth crowds of citizens, strongly surpassing the turn-ups at Habineza and Mpayimana’s rallies.

Simultaneously, social media has been buzzing with activity as candidates, their parties, fans, as well as media organisations and businesses leveraged the campaign to post more content on their various platforms.

Here is a short recap of how the campaigns are unfolding on social media.

Presidential candidates

As far as the presidential campaigns are concerned, the ruling party – RPF, is dominating social media conversations as expected, generating substantial engagement with posts showcasing its outreaches inMusanze and Rubavu.

Videos of Kagame’s rallies in Musanze District garnered hundreds of likes and thousands of views.

Habineza’s Green Party also shared photos and videos of their activities, drawing far less engagement than RPF’s but performed way better than Mpayimana, who had only posted once on X by Sunday morning.

Mpayimana’s post which was about his outreaches in Ngoma and Kirehe attracted big engagement with over 100 comments, including one criticizing him about his Kinyarwanda proficiency.

Parties front parliamentary candidates

Parties such as the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and PS Imberakuri also utilised social media effectively, sharing visuals and livestreams of their campaigns across various locations.

Media outlets actively covered the campaigns, conveying candidates’ messages as well as capturing the atmosphere at rallies. RPF, due to its large crowds, garnered more media attention, with some outlets live streaming their activities.

Individuals on social media

Public participation on social media during the campaigns is robust, featuring selfies from campaign events, commentary on candidates’ performances, and images capturing the scale of the gatherings.

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