NEC provisionally approves 2 candidates, final list set for July 7

Only incumbent President Paul Kagame and Frank Habineza, of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, made the cut when the National Electoral Commission released the provisional list yesterday.
A senior citizen casts her vote during a past election. (File)
A senior citizen casts her vote during a past election. (File)
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Kalisa Mbanda, the NEC chairperson

Only incumbent President Paul Kagame and Frank Habineza, of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, made the cut when the National Electoral Commission released the provisional list yesterday.

After scrutiny of the nomination papers of six candidates, NEC found that four candidates did not fully meet the set requirements.

 

The candidates who missed out now have up to July 6, to submit the missing requirements.

 

According to the election guidelines, each candidate must submit a minimum of 600 signatures from supporters who second their nomination. These supporters must be from all the 30 districts of the country with at least 12 signatures from each district.

 

All the four, Fred Sekikubo Barafinda, Diane Shima Rwigara, Gilbert Mwenedata, and Philippe Mpayimana did  not fully meet this requirement.

According to the NEC Chairperson, Prof Kalisa Mbanda, Barafinda did not submit even a single signature.

The others, according to Mbanda, submitted 600 signatories but in some of the districts, they could not find the minimum required number of 12 signatures.

“We received six bids in total. After scrutinising their nomination papers, we have reached a conclusion; Frank Habineza and Paul Kagame are the only ones that gave us all the required nomination papers,” Mbanda said.

“Mwenedata, Barafinda, Rwigara and Mpayimana had some of their files lacking some documents, including the fact that they did not have at least 12 people backing them from each of the 30 districts,” he added.

The final list of presidential candidates will be announced on July 7.  Between now and then, aspirants who didn’t qualify for the provisional list can still fill the gaps in their nomination papers, Mbanda said.

“Those four candidates have five working days to complete their nomination files. After that, we will again examine their documents and announce the final list of candidates on July 7,” he said.

Rwanda has 11 registered political organisations. Nine of them opted to back the RPF-Inkotanyi candidate President Kagame.

The Democratic Green Party of Rwanda is fielding its own candidate. And, PS-Imberakuri chose to neither field a candidate nor openly back anyone.

According to NEC regulations, candidates are allowed to begin campaigns on July 14 up to August 3. Voting begins on August 3 with the diaspora and August 4 for those in the country.

 editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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