KIGALI - Local councilors at village (Umudugudu), cell, and sector levels are limited to only two terms in office, after which they are not eligible to contest for the same post in the local government elections within the same area.
This was revealed by the Chairman of the National Electoral Commission (NEC) Prof Chrisologue Karangwa, on Friday, in response to journalists’ queries during a news conference at NEC headquarters.
Karangwa explained that each councilor is limited to two consecutive terms in office, saying that a person would only be eligible to contest for the same post if he or she changed the jurisdiction.
The NEC Chairman also said that the reason for the Commission’s failure to produce permanent voter’s card was the need to cut down unnecessary costs that may result from owners’ mishandling cases.
“We would wish to have permanent cards but our previous experience is that many people tend to handle them carelessly. In such cases, the implication is that we will have to produce the same expensive cards every new election, which is costly,” noted Karangwa.
He further revealed that foreigners’ were allowed to vote at cell levels provided that they have been in the area for at least one year.
“This is in accordance to the Presidential Order, but it should be noted that they are ineligible to stand for election,” added Prof Karangwa.
Meanwhile, he said that NEC had already filed a proposal to the cabinet to have one week day dedicated to elections, since voting will take place during working days. The proposal is February 21, pending Cabinet approval.
“The ones that fall on February 7 will not involve all voters, they are indirect polls in which women’s special seats will be elected as well as members of advisory committees hence no holiday is needed,” he added.