NEC expects 1000 observers for August presidential elections

The National Electoral commission (NEC) expects about 1,000 observers for the presidential elections set for August.

The National Electoral commission (NEC) expects about 1,000 observers for the presidential elections set for August.

According to Charles Munyaneza, the NEC executive secretary, 100 potential observers have already approached the commission but it expects the number to grow 10-fold in coming weeks.


“We have already accredited over 100 observers and more are yet to be accredited this week so we expect the number to increase in the next few days,” Munyaneza said last week.


Among those accredited include officials from diplomatic missions in Rwanda, observers from the East African Community bloc as well as local independent observers.


Political parties as well as the civil society platform are yet to send their list of observers, while NEC also expects some from several international organisations and development partners.

“Parties have until 15 days before the elections to have submitted their lists of observers. Judging from what we see now, we might have over 1,000 observers,” Munyaneza said.

Every candidate or a political party is entitled to have at least one observer at each polling station.

Provisional figures from NEC indicate that there will be 2,326 polling centres and 16,018 polling stations across the country. Up to 40 polling stations are also expected in the 35 Rwandan diplomatic missions abroad.

Meanwhile, the civil society has not yet given the names but they expect to have only 208 observers spread across sectors, according to Jean-Léonard Sekanyange, the spokesperson of the Civil Society Platform.

He said the civil society had “insufficient budget” to be able to deploy 416 observers in all the sectors of the country.

“We have already come up with a list of the 208 election observers. We won’t be able to have an observer in each sector but half of them due to the limited budget. But we might increase the number if we get more resources before the elections,” Sekanyange said.

He commended the National Electoral Commission for the seamless presidential nomination exercise saying the country expects free and fair electoral environment come August.

“We continue to encourage the media to give equal opportunities to all candidates, once the campaigns begin,” Sekanyange added.

The process to receive bids from the presidential aspirants closed last Friday with six prospective candidates delivering their documents to NEC.

Election campaigns will be flagged off on July 14 and they will last for 19 days.

Elections in the Diaspora will be held on August 3, while those in the country will be held on August 4.

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