The National Electoral Commission (NEC) published updated guidelines for this year’s presidential poll.
The guidelines, set out in 10 sections, shed light on how polling assistants and observers must conduct themselves, among others.
According to the commission’s executive secretary, Charles Munyaneza, as the nation heads into the campaign season, Rwandans need to observe the rules to ensure a successful poll “Rwandans need to tolerate differing views and opinions, whether they from candidates or their supporters,” Munyaneza told The New Times.
“People must respect other people’s views as this is very important in our democratic culture. Other people’s views shouldn’t be cause for wrangles or problems.”
During the campaigning period, he said, campaign materials such as posters and others will be used. No one should try to vandalise what belongs to a candidate they do not support, he said.
“What is also important is that Rwandans need to attend campaign rallies, do research, participate and follow properly the different candidates’ views so that they can later be able to make an informed choice when casting their vote”.
Some of the key guidlines to observe
. No voter should arrive at polling station after 3p.m and expect to be allowed in.
. Security agents at polling stations shall, in no way, infringe on all entitled persons’ exercise of their voting prerogatives provided by law.
. A duly authorised representative of a candidate has no right to follow activities done inside the polling booth.
. A candidate, on the polling day, is not authorised to be in the vicinity of a polling station except when they come to vote and during vote counting.
. No voter shall be coerced or influenced in any other manner in order to change their choice in the election.
. In no way shall a candidate use an acronym or a logo already chosen by another candidate or likely to sow division or confusion.
. Election assistants in general are prohibited from being biased during their work; and interfering in activities of political parties.
. Election assistants are prohibited from altering election results and publishing fake reports.
. There will be no campaign rallies beyond 6:30p.m.
. It is forbidden to hold a campaign rally in a location and time that was not communicated to authorities beforehand.
. Do not take pictures in the voting room without permission from the polling station manager.
. It is forbidden to hold a campaign rally in inappropriate venues such as churches, schools and hospitals.