BEIJING - The polling station at the Rwandan embassy in Beijing, China closed at exactly 5:45p.m local time after 1200 Rwandans cast their votes at the site.
The election here was presided over by the Rwandan envoy to China, Charles Kayonga. Polls opened at 7a.m.
According to the voters list, 1,235 Rwandans living in China were expected to cast their ballots from here, but there were others who voted despite not having been registered from the embassy.
According to Kayonga, the additional voters are Rwandans who were in China on official or any other private visits and these were allowed to vote after presenting valid documents. Among the conditions was to have registered with the National Electoral Commission as eligible voters.
The exercise started with Kayonga explaining to voters about the rules and regulations governing the election as set by the National Electoral Commission (NEC).
Speaking to The New Times, Kayonga said the embassy had been preparing for the exercise for a while.
He commended the Rwandan community here for honouring their civic duty by turning up in large numbers to vote. “This is a sign of responsibility and love of their country, and it demonstrates that the people of Rwanda have hope for the future,” Kayonga said.
Erick Semasaka, who was among the early voters, told The New Times that he had traveled overnight from Shanghai, where he works as a teacher, headed to Beijing to cast his vote.
“It was an exhausting trip, I still feel tired but the most important thing is that I am here and ready to help decide the future of my country,” he said.
Though the voting had been expected to go on until 9p.m, officials at the embassy said they closed after all those who had registered with the embassy had cast their votes.