It was a clear statement. Huge crowds turned up for the Saturday morning grassroots elections in all parts of the country, to elect their village representatives on the Cell Advisory Council.
Once again Rwandan voters proved their political maturity, support for democracy and their right to exercise their civic responsibilities.
They rose to the occasion, by electing their representatives thereby consolidating the democratisation processes in the country.
It doesn’t matter what level of information the electoral commission provided on these elections, the masses turned up in huge numbers.
The local elections are critical, as they lay the foundation for effective representation of people’s opinions at the lower levels of public administration.
The elections which were conducted in all villages around the country also involved voting for the requisite 30 percent minimum womens representation in the cell and sector committees.
On top of which were the women who successfully contested in the mainstream elections, translating into higher numbers of women’s representatives at the grassroots.
After this election the bigger challenge for the National Electoral Commission (NEC) is to put its house in order.
This is after we reported last week about a snap survey whose results indicated, many especially in the urban areas had not been properly sensitised or informed about the need to register to vote.
In spite of the essential resources being availed to the commission for this purpose little has been done to sensitise the public.
As we prepare for the Presidential elections next year, it is instructive that the grassroots process of voter education, registration and sensitisation on the importance of these processes takes place.
The country’s ability to dispense democracy effectively through elections, lies in the hands of the NEC, they have to rise to the challenge.