KIGALI - The Government has disbursed Rfw 300 million to three political parties that attained atleast 5 percent of the parliamentary votes in 2008, the Executive Secretary of the Forum For Political Parties (FFPP); Anicet Kayigema has said.
Kayigema told The New Times in an interview recently that the government had, through FFPP, disbursed the funds to only three of the nation’s political parties that had attained the required percentage in the parliamentary elections that were held in 2008.
According to Article 77 of the Constitution, “A political organization or list of independent candidates which fails to attain at least 5 percent of the votes cast at the national level during legislative elections cannot be represented in the Chamber of Deputies or benefit from grants given to political organizations by the State,” the article reads.
The money goes to Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) which attained 78 percent, Social Democratic Party (PSD) which attained 13 percent votes and Liberal Party (PL) which attained 7.5 percent votes.
The RPF was in a coalition with six smaller parties, and according to Kayigema, the funds were handed to RPF as the flag bearer.
“It is up to them how they distribute the money to the parties that composed the coalition, just like they distributed the parliamentary seats,” said Kayigema, adding that there should not have been a problem since this was not the first time this was happening.
He said that the Rwf 300 million seals the amount that has been paid in two instalments.
“Initially, the government was supposed to part with Rwf 500 million, but last year, it paid off the first Rwf 200 million which was shared between the three political parties,” he said.
Kayigema however said that government has also put aside funds that will support each of the ten political parties to prepare for the election sensitisation and training.
“We are so far distributing to the parties equipment that they need to begin election training and sensitisation programmes. We are providing computers, translation materials, photocopying machines, registers, and stationeries, among others,” he revealed.
According to Kayigema, under this programme, each political party gets equipment worth Rwf 18.4 million.
FFPP is constitutionally recognized in Rwanda as a platform for dialogue and exchange of ideas among political organizations on the country's problems and national policies.
The National Electoral Commission (NEC) recently said that over 5.2million Rwandans are expected to turn up for the forthcoming presidential polls, a 1.3 million increase compared to 2003 presidential elections.
16,000 polling stations will be set up while 70,000 polling agents are currently undergoing training.
Four candidates have been confirmed to stand for the Presidency in the forthcoming elections and are expected to start their campaigns on July 20 and stop on August 08, a day before Election Day.