Rwanda’s Constitution — the country’s supreme law — is set to change to enable implementation of a proposal to harmonise parliamentary and presidential election calendars, according to a new Cabinet decision. On Friday, March 24, the Cabinet meeting chaired by President Paul Kagame, approved, among others, the initiation of a process to amend the Constitution to allow for the harmonisation of Parliamentary and Presidential elections calendars. The move to synchronise the elections was first disclosed on February 15, by the new Chairperson of the National Electoral Commission, Oda Gasinzigwa, shortly after she took oath of office. ALSO READ: NEC wants presidential, parliamentary polls held simultaneously Overall, officials explained that the development was meant to cut costs, and ensure efficiency in holding polls, whereby the country could save about Rwf6 billion in the process. ALSO READ: Gov't to save Rwf6bn through harmonising presidential, MPs elections For instance, NEC Executive Secretary Charles Munyaneza, said the move was well aligned with the country’s commitment to always fully fund its own elections. Instead of spending a combined Rwf14 billion on the two electoral events when held during different periods, Rwf8 billion would suffice if they were held simultaneously. Similarly, harmonising the two processes is expected to ease the burden on political parties in terms of campaign funds. A change in legislation likely The next parliamentary elections for lawmakers (lower house) were due this year, while the presidential and senatorial polls were scheduled for 2024. Currently, MPs have a five-year term — the lower house's tenure began in 2018 — while the President’s term is seven years, from 2017. This situation made it impossible for the two elections to be held in the same year. For that to be possible, the MPs’ term would be extended by about one year, until 2024. According to Article 175 of Rwanda's Constitution of 2003 with Amendments through 2015, the power to initiate amendment or revision of the Constitution is vested in the President of the Republic after approval by Cabinet, or in each Chamber of Parliament through a two thirds (2/3) majority vote of members. The amendment or revision of the Constitution requires a three-quarters (3/4) majority vote of the members of each Chamber of Parliament. However, if the amendment concerns the term of office of the President of the Republic, the amendment must be passed by referendum, after adoption by each Chamber of Parliament.