Election observers predict peaceful polls

There are signs that Rwanda’s forthcoming parliamentary elections will be peacefully conducted and will be a success.

The observation was made yesterday by the head of the election observation mission of the Forum of Parliaments of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (FP-ICGLR).

David Yama, a Member of Parliament from the Central African Republic who is leading a team of thirteen observers, made the comment yesterday shortly after his delegation met the President of the Rwandan Senate, Bernard Makuza.

Yama’s team has spent almost a week in the country looking at how the parliamentary elections, which are slated from 2-4 September, are being prepared.

“We have met all the main political actors in this process and they have all assured us that everything has been organised in the best conditions for everyone to peacefully participate in the elections,” he told the media shortly after meeting the Senate President.

Yama said that given how the poll was well organised and how the current environment in which Rwandans are going to elect is peaceful, all signs point to the likelihood of the  elections being conducted in a serene atmosphere.

He added that there is hope that everything will go well in the forthcoming election given the current sense of trust by all political actors in the country’s system and in all the on-going preparations for the poll.

“We are optimistic that these elections will be a success,” he said.

On Monday, some 7.1 million Rwandans are expected to elect 53 MPs who will take seats in the 80-member Lower House of Parliament and are chosen through universal suffrage.

It will be the country’s fourth such poll since the end of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Rwandans in the Diaspora will vote the 53 MPs earlier on Sunday, September 2, and the poll will be facilitated by the country’s embassies across the world.

Other members of the Lower House will be elected at different times by their electoral colleges, with one MP representing people living with disabilities getting elected on Sunday (September 2), while 24 MPs representing women and two MPs representing the youth will be elected on Tuesday September 4.

Makuza also expressed confidence that the forthcoming elections will be peacefully conducted, explaining that Rwandans have been holding peaceful elections since 2003 and are likely to do the same this time around.

“We believe that the next elections will also be peaceful because Rwandans are used to conducting peaceful elections,” he said.

The International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) is composed of twelve member states, namely: Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Republic of South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Zambia.

Under the FP-ICGLR, which remains the main inter-parliamentary organisation of African Parliaments in the Africa Great Lakes Region, members discuss regional security and the prevention and management of conflicts among member countries.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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