KIGALI, Rwanda — Rwanda’s longtime president has 99 percent support with nearly half the ballots counted in Friday’s presidential election, according to preliminary results from a vote he was widely expected to win.

President Paul Kagame, who has led Rwanda since his rebels ended the 1994 genocide that left more than 800,000 people dead, told a campaign rally in July that “the day of the presidential elections will just be a formality.”

Neither of his challengers has reached the 1 percent mark so far, according to the partial results announced by the electoral commission.

Provisional results will be announced Saturday afternoon, the commission said.

Vote counting is continuing in Rwanda’s capital of Kigali.

Kagame was running against Frank Habineza of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda – the only permitted opposition party – and independent candidate Philippe Mpayimana.

Three potential candidates were disqualified for allegedly failing to fulfill requirements including collecting enough signatures.

Candidates had been barred from putting campaign posters in most public places, including schools and hospitals.