The National Electoral Commission (NEC) has published a provisional list of 77 prospective candidates who wish to represent Rwanda in the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) – the Parliament of the East African Community (EAC). They include 42 prospective candidates from the National Youth Council, 24 from the National Women Council, and 11 from the National Council of Persons with Disabilities. “They are many in fact; this is a good number we received,” Charles Munyaneza, Executive Secretary of NEC, told The New Times on Wednesday, November 16. However, Munyaneza indicated that some of the candidates have incomplete files, adding that the Commission gave them until November 22 to provide the missing documents, “especially the criminal record because there are challenges in getting the criminal record.” “We will publish the final list on November 22. Those who will still have incomplete files will be disqualified,” he warned. The Rwandans from the aforementioned national councils seeking to represent their country in EALA, had to submit their candidatures from November 7-11, according to instructions from NEC. According to the organic law governing election of Rwanda Members of EALA published in the Official Gazette on August 29, 2022, Rwanda members of EALA originate from categories, namely political organisations represented in the Parliament’s Chamber of Deputies, National Youth Council, National Women Council, and the National Council of Persons with Disabilities. Each category in which Rwanda’s representatives to EALA are elected is allocated a number of members, with political organisations accounting for six; while the three national councils get one, each. Election dates Munyaneza said that elections will be in two phases. These include the one that NEC will hold on December 5, related to prospective candidates from the National Youth Council, the National Women Council, and the National Council of Persons with Disabilities. He added that the list of those candidates from the stated national councils will be sent along with that of the candidates from the political organisations represented in Parliament (three each), indicating that the latter’ candidacies have to be submitted to NEC on December 1 and December 2. It is from those final candidates that the Parliament (both chambers – the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate) will elect nine MPs to represent Rwanda in EALA – which is the second phase of the elections. He said that the MP poll is expected to be held after December 8 – at a date that will be set by the Parliament. “But, it (the vote) will be done quickly so that the MPs will be available in order to begin the mandate at the same time with others [from other countries] because the term of the current ones [MPs] will end on December 17,” he said. Members of EALA are elected for a five-year term, renewable once; which means that some Rwanda EALA members stand a chance for reelection. The 4th EALA Assembly – the current one – started in 2017 and its term will end on December 17, 2022, after which the 5th EALA Assembly will begin. The Assembly members are drawn from EAC Partner States – currently seven, namely Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (newest to the bloc). Each Partner State will have nine members in the Assembly.