President Paul Kagame on Rwanda on Thursday submitted his nomination papers before the National Electoral Commission as he prepares to run for a third term.
Presidential elections are to holds on August 4.
This is the third time since the end of the genocidal regime in 1994 that elections would hold in Rwanda.
NEC is expected to review and approve the candidatures before coming up with a provisional list of qualified candidates on June 27.
The names of qualified candidates will be published on July 7, a week before campaigns start.
Kagame, the Chairman of the Ruling Rwanda Patriotic Front, was accompanied by his daughter Ange Kagame, RPF secretary-general, Francois Ngarambe as he presented his candidature at NEC offices in the Capital Kigali.
Kagame’s submission of nomination papers came barely a week after thousands of members of the RPF unanimously nominated him during the party’s extraordinary congress for re-election in the forthcoming presidential elections.
Addressing a news conference shortly after submitting his nomination credentials, Kagame called on the youth to pick interest in politics as the ground has been already laid for them.
The Rwanda president said that the recently inaugurated RPF headquarters will have a cadreship development school targeting youth.
Kagame noted during his term of office, Rwanda had achieved more than its means, which indicates that the government has stretched to the extreme limits.
He said: “It is wrong for any presidential candidate to be harassed; I say this as a candidate, as a President and as a person.”
Candidates will campaign for 24 days before August 4 when voters will go to polls to cast their votes.
Presently, other presidential candidates who have submitted their candidatures to NEC include: Frank Habineza of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda and Fred Ssekikubo Barafinda of Rwanda Revolutionary Union Democratic Advancers.
Others are: Gilbert Mwenedata, Philippe Mpayimana and Diana Shimwa Rwigara from various parties.
Rwigara, a 35-year-old business woman is the only female candidate that has shown interest in the 2017 presidential race.
Campaigns for the qualified candidates will officially begin on July 14 and end on August 3, just a day before the elections.
About 6.8 million will participate in the election compared to 5.7 million who participated in 2010 presidential elections, according to the NEC.
Kagame has been president since 2000, and was then re-elected in 2003 and 2010.