Those who closely follow Rwandan affairs can attest that the country’s history before 1994 was marked by divisive political systems.
The society then was built on exclusions and discriminations, which culminated in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi - the most horrible event in human history.
All the political systems, from the Monarchy to the Second Republic, were similar as they all ended up dividing the Rwandan people instead of unifying them.
From when the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF Inkotanyi) assumed the responsibility of running the country after stopping the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, the journey has been transformational.
On September 2-3, 2018, Rwandans will vote for members of Parliament. The RPF and its candidates are our choices and we put together 5 reasons why:
1. The RPF’s independence: Across Africa, ruling parties run politics predominantly influenced by a certain superpower country. This can be witnessed through the domination of strong Western countries over many of the African nations.
For the RPF, Rwanda had to take an independent pathway where the country and citizens’ dignity are above other things. Choosing not to have an adopting superpower allows the RPF to limit interference and pursue what is of the highest importance for the Rwandan people and country.
2. Inclusiveness: The RPF is an inclusive party. All Rwandans who want to build the nation feel welcome to join regardless of their background, socio-economic status or ethnic belonging. Such inclusivity has never been seen in Rwanda. The RPF Inkotanyi and its leadership ensure that all Rwandans equitably share and access the country’s opportunities without any discrimination.
3. People-centered: To the RPF, the people are the nucleus and the primary focus. One of the theories of political science notes that people build institutions and at the same time, the institutions build people.
As a people-centered party, the RPF Inkotanyi focuses on the citizens’ right from grassroots. When building its systems, political programs or implementing its political and developmental agenda, the overreaching goal is the wellbeing of the Rwandan people.
4. Power-sharing: Based on its core purpose of building a strong nation, the RPF Inkotanyi has purposefully engineered and adopted power-sharing mechanisms that have never been seen elsewhere. While in a democratic sense, the winner takes all, for the RPF it is different. Political power is shared not only with other political parties but also within the party itself as well as with independents.
The constitution crafted under RPF leadership provides that the party that wins the parliamentary elections, cannot have more than 50% representation within Central Government.
The constitution also provides that the Head of State and the president of the Chamber of Deputies cannot be from the same party even though the party wins both presidential and parliamentary elections.
In the upcoming elections, while there are 80 seats, only 53 are contested for by the political parties and independents. The others are reserved for special groups that include Women (24), youth (2) and people living with disabilities (1).
5. High achiever: The RPF Inkotanyi is known for setting high expectations and achieving most of what it sets out to accomplish. Even with meager resources, the party has a track record of punching above its weight to achieve its goals.
This attribute has, without doubt, enabled Rwanda to develop rapidly and continually attract investment in a cross section of sectors. The confidence to think big and the determination to selflessly deliver on its mandate has propelled the country to greater heights.
The above reasons strongly influenced our choice for the RPF Inkotanyi. By voting for the party in the upcoming elections, you are choosing continued progress not only in the near future but for many generations to come.
Further contribution by Patrice Habinshuti, International Development Expert.
Prof. Pierre-Damien Habumuremyi is a Political Science Expert.
The views expressed in this article are of the authors.