Next parliament should strive to outmatch previous one

Members of Parliament during a past session. Sam Ngendahimana.

With the legislative elections just around the corner, political parties are bracing themselves, compiling lists of what they hope will deliver in the voting booths.

Rwanda’s parliamentary elections are not marked by excitement and violence like in neighbouring countries; it is every-day-as-usual. MPs do not represent particular constituencies but are elected on party tickets with seats allotted proportionately according to the votes garnered.

What is very clear across all parties represented in parliament is that they carried out major overhauls. Long serving household name MPs took the exit. In the Social Democratic Party (PSD) only three members of the previous parliament are back on their party’s list of candidates; in PL (Liberal Party) there are only two.

Nearly all the parties recognized the need to revamp their organisations, the need to bring in new, young blood that will come in with new and bold ideas. This is not to say that the previous parliament was ineffective, to the contrary.

Some of the MPs taking leave had been in the House from the very beginning. They were the architects of lifting this country out of the abyss. They worked in a very hostile environment where everything was in shortage, but they trudged on and today they can look back proudly as having been part of a miracle called Rwanda.

Many of the new MPs should take their seats with the knowledge that they will be under constant scrutiny as those posts are not retirement slots; they are factories of ideas and policies so there is no letting up.

They will find their pigeon holes full and it will be up to them to come up with new ideas of how to empty them productively to meet the next challenge of the Sustainable Development Goals

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