The National Electoral Commission (NEC) yesterday cautioned PS Imberakuri political party over campaigning in undesignated spots, urging them to follow their campaign programme to the letter.
The warning, according to the electoral body, stems from an incident where PS Imberakuri faithful, who while campaigning in different parts of the City of Kigali, resorted to road-shows instead of proceeding to the designated areas.
Imberakuri, a first-time participant in any national electoral process, on Monday, launched its campaign for the September 16 parliamentary elections at the party headquarters in Kimironko.
From their headquarters, they proceeded to Remera Taxi Park in Giporoso, then Kicukiro Centre and Gikondo-Nyenyeri before they wound up their agenda for the day at the Nyarugenge Market in downtown Kigali.
In an interview with The New Times yesterday, the Executive Secretary of NEC, Charles Munyaneza said; ‘the reason why parties are asked to come up with campaign schedules is to ensure that they don’t collide with others.’
“It also enables authorities to ensure security for supporters but if people are disorganised, it becomes hard to provide security for them,” said Munyaneza.
Party chief speaks out
All parties are obliged to draw their campaign itinerary indicating the exact sites where they would hold a rally and the time, and the plans approved by the electoral body.
When The New Times contacted the chairperson of PS Imberakuri, Christine Mukabunane, she downplayed the accusations saying her party did not flout any procedures.
“It would have been wrong if we made any stop-over anywhere but we didn’t; we just passed through the city. Did they expect us to pull down our flags and banners from our vehicles? Although I believe we didn’t violate the procedures, we will ensure that we abide by the laws in our campaigns,” said Mukabunane.
Other parties that are campaigning for the 53 seats in parliament are 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).
Others vying for the parliamentary seats are Social Democratic Party (PSD) and Liberal Party (PL).
The Lower Chamber of Deputies has 80 seats, but only 53 will be contested for through universal adult suffrage, while the remaining 27 are reserved for special interest groups.
According to the electoral calendar, campaigns are expected to run for three weeks ending on September 15 while elections will be held from Sept 16-18. The adult suffrage polls will be held on September 15 while the elections for special interest group will follow on September 17 (youth and persons with disabilities) and on September 18 women representatives.