KIGALI - A study commissioned by the Senate on Political Pluralism and Power Sharing in Rwanda and complied by a group of Professors, has revealed that 86 percent of Rwandans believe there is adequate power sharing in the country.
The 312 page report published on the parliamentary website indicates that findings on perceptions on political pluralism and power sharing reveal that the majority of Rwandans interviewed believe there is political space in the country.
About 80% of them are of that opinion. Some 13% recognize that there are signs testifying to its existence; they are however not satisfied with the extent to which it is exercised. Only 4% assert that there is no political space at all, reads the report.
It adds that almost the same situation is noted with regard to power sharing and that the majority of those interviewed clearly agreed with the fact that there is power sharing and that they are satisfied with the way it is being implemented.
More than four respondents out of five (86%) are satisfied with the way power sharing is being implemented, while only 9% are dissatisfied with the current power sharing arrangement and 4% refrain from answering to this question, the report adds.
The survey reveals that there is a visible variation of citizens appreciation on the issue of political pluralism, political space and power sharing issues depending on their demographic variables.
Demographic variables that are mostly influencing political thinking are, profession, level of formal education, type of residence or province of residence of respondents. That variation of perception among different categories of people has been as high as 30% on some questions.
The report also points of that, in the same line, the study also revealed that some professional categories have, quite often, similar perceptions on the issues under study. The first group includes University students, civil society members and legal practitioners. The second group was made up of politicians, public servants and the general public (farmers).
The study shows that citizens level of net satisfaction on the state of principles of democracy in Rwanda is generally high and ranges between 70% and 87% for all 4 democratic principles. The most appreciated principles are sovereignty of the people and the rule of law ,which score 84% and 87% respectively, reads the report.
It adds that the other two principles, namely political pluralism and separation of the three state powers, score 70% and 71% of net citizens satisfaction.
However, the report indicates that it is worth noting that the levels of partial satisfaction and net dissatisfaction on political pluralism and separation of the three powers are the highest compared to the one on other principles.
The document says that, in terms of popularity or peoples knowledge of political parties, only one political party is in the category of parties which are well known, or at least have been heard of, by almost all Rwandans (RPF-Inkotanyi is in this category with 95.4%).
There are only two other parties which are said to be known by at least 50% of respondents (PL and PSD, respectively known by 54% and 52.9%). For all other parties, there are more respondents who have never heard about them than those who said that they have heard about them, reads the report
The peoples perceptions on the parties social base explain this better when placed in four distinct quartiles. The first quartile is from 0% to 25% and comprises political parties whose members are known to less than 25% of our respondents. Six out of nine political parties fall into this category, PSR, UDPR, PSP, PDI, PPC and PDC.
The study also shows that the population generally has a highly positive appreciation of the local government authorities on selected principles of good governance.