AU election observers congratulate Rwandans for ‘political maturity’

African Union election observers follow the presentation of the report on the just-concluded parliamentary elections in Kigali yesterday. Photos by Sam Ngendahimana.

The African Union Election Observation mission on Thursday congratulated Rwandans for the political maturity they exhibited during the just-concluded parliamentary elections.

That was part of a statement signed by the head of the mission, Aichatou Mindaoudou Souleymane.

She told reporters in Kigali that the AU was satisfied that the poll took place under very satisfactory conditions of freedom and transparency.

“The mission takes this opportunity to congratulate the Rwandan people and all political actors and civil society for the political maturity they have shown during this electoral process,” noted the AU official.

The poll gave Rwandans opportunity, she said, to freely choose their representatives in the Chamber of Deputies.

She urged political actors to respect the will of the people as expressed through the results that will come out of the polls and to use only legal channels in case anyone wants to contest the results.

“The mission, further, encourages Rwandans to maintain the climate of consensus that has prevailed since the end of the Genocide to this day in order to consolidate the rule of law and to preserve peace and stability, a prerequisite for economic development and the strengthening of democracy.”

Souleymane then spelt out some recommendations to various stakeholders, including the Government, the National Electoral Commission and others.

Aichatou Mindaoudou delivers remarks during the event in Kigali yesterday.

Recommendations

The observer mission urged the government to pursue and maintain a conducive climate of peace and security in order to promote democracy and the rule of law. The mission also urged Government to pursue initiatives that ensure greater representation of political parties in election observation. 

To political parties, the AU mission recommends: encouraging participation of their representatives at polling stations and polling rooms; and to continue to engage in the electoral process while preserving a calm climate and mutual respect.

The civil society was also urged to continue its efforts to promote greater citizen participation in the consolidation of democracy in Rwanda.

The Rwanda Civil Society Platform’s observer mission also issued a statement indicating that, among others, voter registration was done on time and in accordance with the electoral laws, electoral campaigns were peaceful and candidates adhered to instructions of the National Electoral Commission.

The civil society especially commended the media for professional conduct during the polls. 

“The different phases of the electoral process (voter registration, candidates’ selection by political parties, candidates’ registration by the NEC, electoral campaigns and voting operations) were widely covered by print and broadcast media in a professional manner,” reads part of a statement signed by the President of Rwanda Civil society Platform, Jean Léonard Sekanyange.

“The Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA) provided equal access to all candidates as required by law,” it noted.

The civil society also recommended that the “elections of deputies representing women and youth be scheduled on different days in order to allow people who are members of both electoral colleges to cast their votes.”

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

 

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