A team of legislators have said meaningful democracy entails leadership drive to end ignorance and reduce poverty levels among the people.
The MPs, led by Gideon Kayinamura, a member of the East African Community legislature, said that where as power belongs to the people in a democracy, the people have to be accorded certain rights they deserve such as right to education and right to economic empowerment.
The MPs were on Wednesday speaking at a one-day debate with district local authorities on the role of parliament, judicial institutions and civil society in promoting democracy in Rwanda.
“Democracy takes different forms depending on the aspirations and the context of a particular country. In the context of our situation I must add that Rwandans know what is best for them,’’ Kayinamura said.
He noted that democracy should not be viewed as having many political parties but that it means that a system is in place whereby power is entrusted to certain individuals of a certain level of integrity through free choice of what is good for them.
“Rwanda adheres to the international principles but has specific and unique situations that must be respected as no two democracies are the same. Our constitution is clear on critical issues such as genocide ideology, abolishment of ethnic inclinations and sectarianism which have no place in our democracy ,’’ he added.
Speaking on the role of civil society in promoting democracy, legislator Esperance Uwimana said that civil society organizations have a big stake in educating the people on human rights and following up on the implementation of government policies.
Dr Gabriel Semasaka added that strong judicial institutions are necessary in promoting democracy while other oversight institutions created such as the office of prosecution and ombudsman are mandated to ensure that laws are adhered to.