Law governing Senators’ election to be revised

KIGALI - The Lower Chamber of parliament, last week, approved the preamble bill that will modify the way Senators are elected.

KIGALI - The Lower Chamber of parliament, last week, approved the preamble bill that will modify the way Senators are elected.

The eight-year mandate of the current Senators will end this year with elections slated for September.

The legislation provides for only one electoral round, in which the successful candidates are those who will score more votes based on the number of the electorate in a given electoral zone.

Internal Security Minister, Sheikh Musa Fazil Harelimana who tabled the bill, told The New Times that it is vital to correct the electoral anomalies in the current law that governs the election of senators.

In his explanatory note to Parliament, Harelimana observed that the modifications will ensure the September elections are held in suitable conditions as the weaknesses in the current law will be removed.

“This draft law indicates the period during which the national electoral commission shall have to submit the applications it has received, the list of candidates and its views and reasons for each application, to the Supreme Court” Harelimana told parliament.

Also to be clarified is the issue of the 12 senators elected by administrative entities of the country.

One of the “weaknesses” in the current electoral law is that it states that applications transmitted to the Supreme Court are those of candidates from public and private universities and institutions of higher learning only.

The other equally important ones from administrative entities of the country were overlooked. 

• Senate composition
There are a total of 26 Senators in the Senate. Two are drawn from universities and institutions of higher learning, eight are nominated by the President, four are nominated by the forum of political parties and 12 are elected from the country’s administrative structure – provinces.

Ends

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