The National Electoral Commission (NEC) has announced the calendar of next elections for members of the Senate, due September this year.
The elections 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 represent the country’s four provinces and the City of Kigali and are picked through electoral colleges, and eight senators appointed by the President of the Republic.
Four senators are designated by the Consultative Forum of Political Organisations, one senator represent public universities and higher learning institutions, while another one is picked from private university and higher learning institution community.
According to the electoral calendar published in The New Times on Tuesday, elections are scheduled from September 16-18.
The election season will kick off with prospective candidates submitting their bids to NEC between July 22 and August 9, while campaigns will run from August 27 through September 15.
Charles Munyaneza, the Executive Secretary of the National Electoral Commission, told The New Times on Tuesday that Rwandans need to own and support the process.
“Even if not every Rwandan elects senators, these are people who will represent all Rwandans in the end and we all need to pay attention,” he said.
“For those who will elect, they need to start being aware of the candidates and different institutions should be pro-active in releasing information about the candidates and voters,” he said.
Presidential Orders determining polling day and electoral campaign period for Senators, and the polling constituency, the number of senators to be elected in each constituency and the electoral colleges were approved by a Cabinet meeting on Friday.
Both the elected and appointed senators serve for a five-year term, renewable once.
Full schedule of the senatorial electoral process
July 22-09 August 2019: Submitting applications
August 27-15 September: Campaigning period
September 16: Polling Day for election of 12 senators representing the four provinces and the City of Kigali
September 17: Polling Day for picking one senator from lecturers and researchers of public universities and higher learning institutions
September 18: Election of one senator from lecturers and researchers of private universities and higher learning institutions.
30 September 2019: Deadline to announce elected senators