Disabled persons send their council boss to Chamber of Deputies

Gaston Rusiha has beaten 15 other candidates to the single slot reserved for the representative of persons with disabilities in the Chamber of Deputies. 
A disabled person casting his ballot yesterday. The New Times/Timothy Kisambira
A disabled person casting his ballot yesterday. The New Times/Timothy Kisambira

Gaston Rusiha has beaten 15 other candidates to the single slot reserved for the representative of persons with disabilities in the Chamber of Deputies. 

Rusiha, the president of the National Council of Persons with Disabilities (NCPD), yesterday, had the biggest say in the ballots of the 252 people who make up the electoral college of the disabled persons, polling 100 votes (41.84 per cent). The polling was preceded by a heated campaign.

Pierre Claver Rwaka, who held the seat in the August House, opted not to contest to represent the disabled persons this time round, preferring to vie for one of the 53 directly contested slots on the Rwanda Patriotic Front ticket.

However, Rwaka missed out on returning to House in the Monday poll.

Rusiha’s nearest challenger, Séverin Rwamucyo Gisaza, scooped 63 votes (26.36 per cent).

Speaking after the vote, the MP-elect said he had been eying the seat for the last 10 years but had to bide his time. 

“With my vast experience, I am going to Parliament to make an impact in the welfare of the disabled persons. My predecessors did a good job but there is need for sustainability and improvement and that’s what I am going to be doing,” said the excited Rusiha.

Pledge to interest group

Earlier, while campaigning, Rusiha listed a number of projects he intends to address while in Parliament, including pushing government to allocate 5 per cent of the civil service jobs to disabled persons. 

“This policy is in place but no one follows it, I will ensure that it is implemented and that is how we will increase jobs for the disabled persons,” said the MP-elect. 

He added that there are several national policies for the disabled that need to be updated and aligned with EDPRS 2.

“This will be my primary responsibility. There is also need to have special driving permits for disabled people and also having a ministry in charge of disabled persons, I will advocate for these things to be put in place.”

Only one seat is reserved for the disabled in the 80-member Chamber of Deputies.

 

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