The National Electoral Commission has said that parliamentary candidates in the special categories of youth and people living with disabilities will hold their campaigns on September 18, the polling day.
The youth are reserved two seats while the people with disabilities have one seat in the 80 member Chamber of Deputies.
“We will facilitate the colleges to travel to Kigali where they will attend campaigns and also vote on the same day,” the Executive Secretary of NEC, Charles Munyaneza, told The New Times in an interview last week.
The electoral college of persons living with disabilities is composed of 252 voters who make up the committees of disabled persons from the district level to the national level.
However, Munyaneza said the electoral commission would only provide them with transport and the venue where the campaigns and elections would take place.
“We will transport them to Kigali and reserve the venues but any other involvement in organising the campaigns before polling day would be against the law,” he said by telephone.
Munyaneza was reacting to concerns by some candidates who said they wished NEC facilitated their campaigns ahead of polling day.
“Candidates are free to campaign if they can manage but our support would only come on September 18,” said Munyaneza.
François Xavier Karangwa, a candidate eyeing the PLWDs seat said, “We are informed we would only campaign on the polling day but, we would have wished NEC to find ways of facilitating us to campaign ahead of the day.”
Another disabled candidate, Jean Bosco Karanganwa said that NEC should have separated the campaigning day from the voting day.
Speaking to The New Times Peterson Ntaganira Bayingana, a youth parliamentary candidate, also said that, “It would have been better to meet the electoral colleges and campaign before the election day but since it’s not possible, I will have to campaign on the polling day.”
The youth electoral college is composed of 264 voters.
These include eight representatives of institutions of higher learning, eight from high schools, eight from the national executive committee and 240 representing the youth from all the districts.
According to the election calendar, the general electorate will pick 53 MPs standing on political party or individual tickets on September 16, while the elections for the 24 women representatives will be held on September 17.
On September 18, youth and the disabled are slated to vote for their representatives.