AU observers urge voters to exercise their civic rights

The African Union election observers currently in the country to monitor next week’s parliamentary polls have urged voters to exercise their civic rights by participating in the exercise.
Some of the  African Union election observers during a press briefing yesterday. The New Times/ John Mbanda.
Some of the African Union election observers during a press briefing yesterday. The New Times/ John Mbanda.

The African Union election observers currently in the country to monitor next week’s parliamentary polls have urged voters to exercise their civic rights by participating in the exercise.

The team of 30 observers is drawn from the Pan-African Parliament, African ambassadors /representatives to the AU in Addis Ababa, African electoral management bodies and members of civil society.

The exercise which begins on Monday, will see up to 5,953,531 Rwandans participate in the general elections.

There are 410 candidates for the 80 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.

The observers will  assess and determine whether the elections have been conducted in accordance with the constitutional and legal framework governing elections in Rwanda and determine whether the outcome reflects the will of the people of Rwanda.

Engaging stakeholders

“Rwandans should come out in large numbers and vote. We  also want to see the elections conducted in a free and fair manner,” Justice Rita Makarau, the head of the delegation said. Justice Makarau is the chairperson of Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

She added that they intend to engage different stakeholders including political parties, the electoral commission and government authorities and said that the team will observe tvoting, counting and result tabulation processes.

“Observations and recommendations of the mission will be based on the credibility, transparency, fairness and effective organisation of the elections from which the mission will express its views,” she said. 

The team will further assess whether the conditions exist for the conduct of the elections that allow voters to freely express their will.

The National Electoral Commission (NEC) says international observers accredited to monitor the elections will represent different blocs including, the European Union, African Union, Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries (CEPGL) and East African Community (EAC).

 

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