Women to take 61 per cent of seats in the next Chamber of Deputies

Given that 24 out of the 80 seats in the chamber are reserved for women, it has emerged that the house will now comprise 49 women parliamentarians in total

Women will take 61 per cent of seats in the next Lower House of Parliament (Chamber of Deputies) going by the latest results from this week’s parliamentary elections.

The National Electoral Commission (NEC) yesterday released provisional results from this week’s election, which saw the governing RPF-Inkotanyi take most seats out of the 53 that are openly contested for.

It won 40 seats in the house after garnering 74 per cent of the votes made by 6.6million Rwandans who turned out for the direct vote on Sunday and Monday.

The turn-out for the direct poll was 93 per cent given that 7.2 million Rwandans were expected to participate in the direct poll.

Given that 24 out of the 80 seats in the chamber are reserved for women, it has emerged that the house will now comprise 49 women parliamentarians in total if the number of women who will take seats won by their respective political parties is also considered.

The RPF-led coalition won 40 seats in the house and 19 of those who are top on the party’s list of candidates are women.

Then the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the Liberal Party (PL), which won five and four seats respectively, will each send two female MPs to the house.

Other female MPs will come from the Social Party (PS)-Imberakuri, which won two seats in the house with its leader Christine Mukabunane being on the top of the party’s list, and youth representatives where one out of the two seats reserved for the youth will be occupied by a lady called Clarisse Imaniriho.

About 64 per cent of parliamentarians in the outgoing Chamber of Deputies were women.

Former Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Donatille Mukabalisa, told The New Timesyesterday that a big number of women in the house is crucial for fast-tracking the country’s development.

“It’s good; it means that we are promoting the development of women. We should be happy about it as women and the whole country and it means that we will develop more,” she said.

Rwanda has, for over a decade, been topping the global list of countries with the most female political parliamentarians. That’s mainly due to the country’s legally set quotas, with the Constitution stipulating that at least thirty percent (30%) of Deputies in the Lower House of Parliament must be women.

NEC, police, and several observers have so far said that this week’s elections were incident-free.

“Overall it was a peaceful election,” NEC chairperson, Prof. Kalisa Mbanda, told The New Times yesterday shortly after releasing provisional results from the elections.

None of the four independent candidates who contested in the open election for 53 seats in the house could get 1 per cent of the votes.

The commission is set to release final results from the elections later this week.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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