By-elections of district councillors to fill in vacant positions are slated for February 11, The National Electoral Commission Executive Secretary, Charles Munyaneza, told The New Times. He said that at least 10 district council positions have to be filled in eight districts namely Burera, Gakenke, Rulindo, Huye, Nyamasheke, Rutsiro, Bugesera, and Ngoma. The deadline for submission of candidatures has been set on January 13. The candidates have to meet the conditions required by the organic law governing elections. NEC says that the assessment and approval of district council candidacies will be carried out on January 17 before final approval on January 20. District council candidates’ campaigns are set from January 27 to February 10 ahead of elections on February 11. How District councils works As per the law, a district Council is the governing organ of a district that makes decisions and develops strategies as well as instructions. The council gives guidance to put in place development strategies, put in place the rules of procedure governing the District Council and the Executive Committee, establish departments of a District and instructions that govern them and determine their responsibilities. It also gives guidance to adopt the budget of a district, monitor the implementation of recommendations contained in the report of the Auditor General of State Finance, assess the functioning of the District Executive Committee, determine charge rates levied in a district in accordance with the law, approve funds to be invested in enterprises or companies in which a District intends to have shares in accordance with relevant laws, approve donations, bequests and debts that a District may take out or grant in accordance with laws. The council has to invite, every six months, members of the District Executive Committee for them to table the report on the accomplishment of activities falling within their responsibilities, the Executive Secretary tables the report on the use of the budget to approve relations, cooperation, and partnership with other Districts, Cities and other institutions among others. The District Council has powers to suspend a councillor or one of the members of the District Executive Committee in case of misconduct and failure to discharge his/her duties and can also establish administrative sanctions for persons having violated the instructions of the District Council in accordance with the law. The District Council comprises 17 councillors. These include eight councillors elected at the District level, five female councillors constituting at least 30 per cent of members of the District Council, the Coordinator of the National Youth Council at the district level, the Coordinator of the National Women’s Council at the District level, the Coordinator of the National Council of Persons with Disabilities at the District level as well as he Chairperson of the private sector at the District level. Members of the District Council are elected for a renewable term of office of five years.