As political parties vying for parliamentary seats launched their campaigns on Monday, the Social Democratic Party (PSD) said its inaugural rallies held in three separate sites went on well and encountered no challenges.
Speaking to The New Times yesterday, PSD’s second vice president Jacqueline Mukakanyamugenge said her party’s launching events were coordinated in a way that they would not encounter any problems, and they went on according to plan.
“We held our main launch in Gicumbi District but we also had two others in Nyaruguru and Nyabihu districts. We also held rallies in two other places and so far we have not heard of any complaints,” she said.
Mukakanyamugenge added that the events on Monday were mainly aimed at presenting to the electorate the candidates on the party list and unveiling the party’s manifesto.
In Gicumbi where the inaugural launch was held, hundreds turned up at Byumba Stadium as early as 1pm for the campaigns that started around 3pm and lasted for about two hours.
All top PSD officials, including those occupying executive offices, senators and former lawmakers were present at the launch.
PSD’s Juvenal Nkusi, who tops the list of PSD parliamentary candidates, read out the party’s manifesto which was mainly hinged on boosting the economy and social welfare.
“If we are elected as majority leaders, we want to push for tax reforms, especially with regard to income tax. We want the Pay As You Earn tax to be levied on gross salary that is over Rwf 60,000,” said Nkusi.
Currently any salary that is above Rwf 30,000 is taxed.
Nkusi also promised those attending the PSD rally that if his party wins a parliamentary seat, it would support technological-based initiatives, infrastructure development as well fighting corruption.
“We would ensure that we fight against any form of genocide ideology as well as promoting the welfare of Genocide survivors,” added Nkusi.
Speaking at the same event, PSD’s president, Dr Vincent Biruta paid special tribute to Nkusi saying he had become one of the long serving lawmakers in Rwanda because of his sterling performance in the House.
Nkusi, has been a legislator since 1994, and was once the Speaker of the Transitional National Assembly.
“He has been a good messenger and delivered on all the promises we made that’s why we have kept him in parliament for all this long,” said Biruta.
He further pointed out; “Much of what has been achieved in this country was partly due to PSD’s contribution.
“It is now time to look back and see what we have achieved and strategise on how best to serve the people in the future. This is how we came up with this manifesto.”
PSD is among the eight political parties that are vying for the 53 seats that will be contested through universal adult suffrage.
Also in the race is the RPF-led coalition which include Ideal Democratic Party (PDI), Parti Socialiste Rwandais (PSR), Parti du Progrès et la Concorde (PPC) and Centrist Democratic Party (PDC).
Other parties contesting are PS-Imberakuri and Liberal Party (PL) who held their rallies in the City of Kigali and Rusizi District, respectively.
According to the electoral calendar, campaigns are expected to run for three weeks ending on September 15 while elections will be held from September 16-18.
The polls through adult suffrage will be held on September 16 while the elections for special interest group will follow on September 17 (youth and persons with disabilities) and on September 18 women representatives.