MPs elections to cost Frw8.5bn

SOUTHERN PROVINCE HUYE – The 2008 elections for members of the House of Deputies slated for September, are expected to cost Frw8.5billion, the Executive Secretary of the National Electoral Commission has disclosed.

SOUTHERN PROVINCE

HUYE – The 2008 elections for members of the House of Deputies slated for September, are expected to cost Frw8.5billion, the Executive Secretary of the National Electoral Commission has disclosed.

Speaking at a meeting with Provincial and District leaders in Huye town last Friday, Pierre Damien Habumuremyi, said that the elections will be jointly funded by the Government of Rwanda and its development partners.

He said: "The Government of Rwanda is going to meet 60 percent of the cost of the elections, while the rest will be met by our partners."

"A number of them have already made pledges. The amount of money they intend to commit to the exercise will be known later this month," added Habumuremyi.

The Executive Secretary said that September 29 has been set as a tentative date for the election. It only awaits the President [Paul Kagame] to approve.

For the first time in its history, the commission will use a computerised system of vote counting, similar to the one used in South Africa.

"We shall install sophisticated computerised units in every district. Votes from 5,000 polling stations will be entered into this system at every district headquarter," said Habumuremyi.

He added: "Results from districts will be sent to the national server. People monitoring the elections will be able to access all the results as they trickle in from the various districts."

The computerised system, it is hoped, will enable results to be released the following day after polls.

To avoid claims of malpractices especially at the polling stations, the Executive Secretary said that glass ballot boxes will be used during the election.

"The introduction of glass ballot boxes is intended to create transparency during the voting exercise," said Habumuremyi, adding that ballot papers will bear photographs of the voters.

He however, cautioned potential aspirants against campaigning before they are allowed to do so by the Electoral Commission. "Campaigning before the set date contravenes the law," said Habumuremyi.

Meanwhile, updating of the voters register is set to begin March 12, and the display is expected to end April 5 countywide.

Voters are expected to check for their names in the register and report cases of people who are dead so that they can be removed from the voters’ register.

The register updating exercise will take 60 days as is stipulated by the law.

The Provincial Governor Fidele Ndayisaba, called upon local leaders to step up sensitisation campaigns so that the election is a success.

The elections will be followed by Presidential elections in 2010, then Local Government and election of Senators in 2011.

Ends

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