KIGALI - The Forum for Political Parties in Rwanda (FPPR) has been urged to take up the role of observers in the upcoming grassroots elections.
The call was made, yesterday, by the Executive Secretary of the National Electoral Commission (NEC), Charles Munyaneza, in a meeting that brought together the electoral body and forum officials.
The elections which are slated for next month will not be conducted on the basis of political parties.
“By law, parties are not allowed to field or campaign for a candidate in the grassroots election, but they have the right to act as observers,” said Munyaneza.
He added that their participation should be limited to observing and helping citizens understand the importance of the upcoming elections.
The grassroots elections are scheduled to begin on February 6 and will end on March 3, 2011. The positions to be filled include members of the Advisory and administrative Councils from the village level up to the district and the Council of the City of Kigali.
Others to be elected during this period are committees and councils for special interest groups that include women, the youth and persons with disabilities.
Speaking at the meeting, the Chairman of NEC, Prof. Chrysologue Karangwa, reminded the politicians that they should take ownership of the electoral process and encourage all the other Rwandans to embrace them.
He said that it is through elections that true democracy which promotes participation of all citizens can be fully realized in Rwanda.
Karangwa commended the forum for their unwavering support, especially during last year’s Presidential elections, and urged them to showcase the same spirit in the upcoming polls.
Munyaneza told members of the forum that this time round the budget of the elections is going to be less than that of the presidential elections since most of the materials that were used during the August polls were in good working condition.
The grassroots elections will cost an estimated Rwf4.3 billion compared to last year’s which was about Rwf 8 billion.
Munyaneza said that government is going to provide 80 percent of the budget while the remaining will come from development partners.