The Rwanda Governance Advisory Council (RGAC) has revealed that the August Presidential elections were conducted in a fair manner and the results reflected a level of democratic maturity and free choice.
RGAC is an institution whose mission is to assess, monitor and advise the government and other stakeholders on matters pertaining to political governance.
This was disclosed yesterday by Prof. Anastase Shyaka the Executive Secretary of RGAC while addressing members of the press at the institution’s premises.
“Our team of 25 observers monitored the campaign process in all 30 districts and the voting process in 18 districts and found out that all polling stations were quite accessible, well prepared and located near the voting population,” he said.
He added that electoral materials were at the site on time, persons missing on the register did not vote and National Electoral Commission (NEC) officials were present at polling centres and supervised the exercise effectively.
“Voter education was successfully conducted prior to presidential election, our team talked to the population in respective districts and it was confirmed that adequate voting information was given through the media,” he noted.
Prof. Shyaka explained that all the Presidential Candidates were given security details during their campaign period and there was no harassment reported by any candidate or his or her supporters.
He stressed that, candidates’ speeches focused on their manifesto and political agenda which was by and large dominated by socio-economic development issues, no hurling insults and provocative criticism on one another was noted.
The RGAC Executive Secretary told journalists that, on the Election Day, citizens voted massively in early morning hours and this is attributed to the voter education and mobilisation undertaken by NEC prior to elections.
He pointed out that, the elections were conducted in a free and fair manner and the results reflected a level of maturity and free choice because there are clear and appropriate procedures to address election- related complaints and appeals but no complaint was raised by any candidate on the electoral process.
“The fact that losers conceded defeat and congratulated the winning presidential candidate is a clear sign of political maturity and emergence of a new paradigm shift in Rwanda’s political landscape,” he noted.
Shyaka called upon the political parties to strengthen their capability by streamlining their political programmes/manifestos of their candidates clearly and comprehensively articulating policy agenda to give their voters choice.