The National Electoral Commission (NEC) Monday started dispatching voting materials, including ballot papers, voter lists and electoral ink to districts ahead of the August 4 presidential election.
According to Charles Munyaneza, the executive secretary of the commission, this was done to ensure early preparation to avoid unnecessary delays on the polling day.
Munyaneza told The New Times that they started with districts in Eastern, Western and Northern provinces, while today, NEC is expected to dispatch the materials to Southern Province and City of Kigali.
“By Wednesday [tomorrow], we want to be transporting the materials from district stores to sectors and by Thursday evening, the materials should be at polling centres in different cells. Police and Rwanda Defence Forces are working with us to ensure security of the process and at polling stations,” he said.
Munyaneza said the early deployment aims at facilitating staff to assess all the materials in time to ensure everything is accounted for.
Munyaneza said that there are 2,340 polling centres and over 16,000 polling stations across the country.
NEC says nearly seven million ballot papers were printed locally at the cost of over Rwf160 million, a price that drastically reduced from when they used to print from outside the country.
The ballot papers for the 2010 presidential election were printed from the UK.
Rwandans on voter register are 6,897,076.
Munyaneza said all forms of campaign activities must stop 24 hours before the voting starts within the country. This means that campaigns have to stop by 6am on Thursday.
He said in the Diaspora, candidates must close their campaigns tomorrow, but clarified that, so far, no candidate or their representatives are known to have to gone abroad to campaign.
“This implies that they might have been using communication technologies such as social media to reach out to voters in the Diaspora instead of having to go there,” he said.
Munyaneza said voting will start at 7:00am on Friday, urging voters not to wear any clothes or materials promoting any candidate on Election Day.
He said that, on the ballot paper, the order of names will appear depending on when the candidate submitted their candidature.
This means that on the paper, Frank Habineza, of Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, will appear on top, followed by Philippe Mpayimana, an independent; and incumbent President Paul Kagame, of RPF-Inkotanyi.
For the 93 polling stations in the Diaspora, all polling materials have been dispatched to embassies.