Rwandans go to polls today to elect their next Members of Parliament after three weeks of campaigns across the country. No cases of violence or lawlessness were reported during the campaigns.
Since August 15, 410 candidates from political parties, special categories and independent candidates have been traversing the country to solicit for votes. The candidates are vying for 80 seats of the Lower Chamber of Parliament.
In the race are the Liberal Party (PL), Social Democratic Party (PSD), a coalition led by Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) Inkotanyi, and PS-Imberakuli, as well as four independent candidates.
The RPF-led coalition comprises of RPF Inkotanyi, Ideal Democratic Party (PDI), Parti Socialiste Rwandais (PSR), Parti du Progrès et la Concorde (PPC) and Centrist Democratic Party (PDC).
Today voters will elect candidates for 53 seats through universal adult suffrage. The remaining 27 are reserved for special interest groups.
The National Electoral Commission commended the political parties and independent candidates and Rwandans in general for conducting peaceful campaigns.
There were no reports of violence and this trend should be upheld as we head to the polls. The rejection of violence by voters sends a strong signal that Rwandans have matured in politics and are tired of divisive politics.
Candidates were more focused on articulating development issues. All registered voters should turn up and vote their preferred candidates in a peaceful manner.
And we should be mindful that in every race, there are winners and losers. Losers in the election should accept the outcome. The post election period should be peaceful. Rwanda deserves a stable political environment in order to maintain its current clear growth agenda.