• Preliminary results to be announced today
According to the National Electoral Commission (NEC, the turn up for yesterday’s direct parliamentary elections exceeded ninety percent.
“We have not yet got the full report on the turn up but what we can confirm that at least 90 percent of the registered voters turned up for the election countrywide,” said Charles Munyaneza, the Acting Executive Secretary of NEC.
He said that the participation indicates that Rwandans are steadily grasping the democratic dispensation, which he said projects hope for the country’s future.
Munyaneza also thanked Rwandans for owning the electoral process saying that this was demonstrated by the way the elections were prepared.
“The security was also total at all the polling centres in the country, unlike what we have seen in neighboring countries. Rwandans went to vote in the morning and by afternoon most of them had returned to their normal businesses,” he said by telephone.
Munyaneza revealed that he has been receiving telephone messages from some individual observers congratulating Rwandans on how the activity went. He said that by 3 PM all polling centres were closed and counting started immediately.
Meanwhile, leaders of several parties which contested in the elections said that they were held in calm and with no coercion.
“We have not yet received all the details of what happened at all the polling centres but generally, the reports we have so far indicate that the election was very peaceful,” said Odette Nyiramirimo, the First Vice President of PL.
She said that the way the election went demonstrates that Rwandans have evolved which indicates the political maturity that the country has achieved.
“I, however, can not speculate on the general outcome of the polls because we have neither fully gotten the reports from all over the country nor the results,” said Nyiramirimo, who is also Rwanda’s Representative to the East African Legislative Assembly. She added that she was positive that her party would emerge victorious.
The National Vice Chairman of the RPF, Christophe Bazivamo in an interview said that these elections were well prepared adding that they were characterized by tranquility all over the country.
“Our Party only encountered one problem in Ngoma (Eastern Province) where one of our agents at a polling station was first denied entry into the centre saying that he didn’t have the appropriate papers but this was quickly resolved…it was just a misunderstanding,” he explained. He said that he was confident his political organization would garner majority votes.
“What I can say, basing on the tentative information we have, is that there is no reason to dispute the outcome of the election,” said Bazivamo who was also the chairman of the RPF campaign team.
He also lauded the turn up at the polls saying that this was a clear indicator that Rwandans are increasingly understanding the democratization process on which the country has embarked.
Jean Marie Vianney Harerimana who stood as an independent candidate said that he generally appreciated the way these elections were prepared by the National Electoral Commission (NEC).
“They (NEC) put in place many polling centres and this made voting easy…there was no congestion which had characterized the previous elections. This also increased the turn up,” said Harerimana.
However, when contacted, the Secretary General of PSD, Dr Jean Damascene Ntawukuriryayo said that he could not comment on the election before they got reports from their agents.
“We gave our representatives forms that they will fill upon completion of the polls and they have not returned them for assessment…that is all I can say at the moment,” he said.
Regarding the announcement of the results, Munyaneza said that they had only finished counting votes from some embassies in several countries.
By press time, they had received and counted votes from embassies of China, India, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda. He said that in these embassies, results indicated that RPF was leading followed by Harerimana.
“The general tentative results will be announced tomorrow (today) while the final official results will be announced on September 22,” said Munyaneza.
Meanwhile, indirect elections that will see into Parliament 24 women representatives across the country will be held today, while tomorrow, two youths will be elected and lastly the disabled, who are allotted one seat of the 80 House. The women elections will be held at district level.