Political party forum picks senators tomorrow

A voter gets his finger inked by an election official at the University of Rwanda’s College of Science and Technology polling station in Kigali yesterday. Emmanuel Kwizera.

The National Consultative Forum of Political Organisations will Thursday meet to vote for two members who will take up two of the four senatorial seats set aside for political parties.

The Executive Secretary of the Forum, Oswald Burasanzwe, told The New Times in a telephone interview that this year, only two will be chosen while another two will be chosen next year.

“On Thursday, we will choose two candidates who will replace Fatou Harerimana and Perrine Mukankusi. We will vote for another two candidates to replace Charles Uyisenga and Jeanne d’ Arc Mukakalisa whose mandate will expire in 2020,” he explained.

Ensuring continuity

The Forum’s Deputy Spokesman, MP Abbas Mukama, told The New Times in a separate interview that, besides the political parties, the President will this year also appoint four senators and another four next year.

This, he explained, is to ensure that each senator completes their mandate and also to allow for continuity.

“Unlike the lower chamber of parliament, the Senate is not dissolved, because they all don’t join at the same time. This is to ensure continuity,” he said.

According to Mukama, the current Senate will work until the President announces the end of its mandate. Soon after that, the incoming Senators will be sworn in. 

Meanwhile, elections to choose a member of the public university or institution of higher learning took place yesterday across the country.

Cyprien Niyomugabo, Dean of the University of Rwanda’s College of Education, won after clinching 631 votes, representing 66.6 per cent of the vote, beating Pierre Claver Kayumba who got 316 votes, representing 33.7 per cent.

Private tertiary institutions were expected to pick their representative today.

About the Senate

The Senatorial elections and nominations will usher in the country’s Third Senate, replacing the current one that has been in place since 2011.

Rwanda has a bicameral parliament, consisting of the Senate and Chamber of Deputies.

The Senate is made up of 26 members; including 12 members who are elected through grassroots structures and eight senators appointed by the President of the Republic. 

Four senators are designated by the Consultative Forum of Political Organisations, one senator is elected by public higher learning institutions, while another is picked by private tertiary institutions.

While different segments of society are involved in picking senators to emphasise inclusiveness in the electoral process, all members of the Senate represent the country as a whole. 

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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