The Liberal Party (PL) on Wednesday released the list of candidates to contest on the party ticket in the upcoming parliamentary elections slated for September this year.
Conspicuously missing on the list are senior legislators like former deputy speaker Evariste Kalisa, Francois Byabarumwanzi and long-serving legislator, Henriette Sebera Mukamurangwa.
The list released on July 11, is made up of 80 candidates and was approved by the National Executive Committee of the party on recommendation from an ad hoc team that was appointed by the party.
Number one on the list that is supposed to be submitted to the National Electoral Commission is current speaker, Donatille Mukabalisa who also doubles as the party president.
Speaking toThe New Times yesterday, Odette Nyiramirimo, the party’s Secretary General said that they decided to increase the number of party candidates this year around because they have “many capable leaders”.
“The party had 58 candidates listed for last elections in 2013 but this time round, the party has decided to field 80 contestants because we have many capable members for parliament,” said Nyiramirimo.
Forty per cent of the candidates are women and according to Nyiramirimo, this is impressive given that this is 10 percent above the threshold set out by the constitution.
Currently, PL had eight members in the lower chamber of parliament, including Speaker Mukabalisa and Nyiramirimo said that they would be eying more seats in the next parliament.
According to the list, four of the members who have been in the lower chamber are not coming again.
“They submitted their request to the party not to come back because they have been serving for a long time,” she said.