Massive turn-up in local council elections

KIGALI - Thousands yesterday thronged several polling stations across the country to cast their votes in the local council elections. Speaking to The New Times, the Chairperson to the National Electoral Commission (NEC), Prof. Chrysologue Karangwa, said that by 10:00 AM., most citizens had finished voting.
One of the voters casting her vote at Rugunga polling station. . (Photo T. Kisambira)
One of the voters casting her vote at Rugunga polling station. . (Photo T. Kisambira)

KIGALI - Thousands yesterday thronged several polling stations across the country to cast their votes in the local council elections.

Speaking to The New Times, the Chairperson to the National Electoral Commission (NEC), Prof. Chrysologue Karangwa, said that by 10:00 AM., most citizens had finished voting.

“Preliminary reports indicate a turnout of over 80% of the registered voters. We have so far not registered any form of irregularity in the process,” said Karangwa. 

The Executive Secretary of NEC, Charles Munyaneza, confirmed that the elections were conducted in a free, fair and calm environment.

“We expect all registered voters to have casted their votes by 3:00 PM,” he said.

Meanwhile at Rugunga polling station where over 9,000 people cast their ballot, voters said they expect the elected leaders to focus more on development and social welfare.

“I am unemployed, so I voted for someone who is capable of taking care of people like me. All candidates in this race seem to be competent leaders.” said Charlotte Mukashyaka.

Unlike other polling centres, Rugunga site was not very congested since the majority of the voters had already cast their votes as early as 7 .00 AM.

According to the coordinator of elections in Nyarugenge District, Peter Bazatoha, the turnout was impressive.

One of the election observers, Bruce Musoni, of the civil society organisations, said that the situation at the polling stations he visited seemed impressive.

A total of 5,422,740 voters were expected to take part in yesterday’s elections. Over 2,000 polling centres were set up with close to of 16,000 polling rooms.

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