KIGALI - The Civil Society Election Observation Mission (CSEOM) has hailed the just concluded senatorial elections, describing them as free and fair.
The observers from various civil society organisations in the country made the remarks, yesterday, during a media briefing held in Kigali.
The elections, whose results have since been released, saw 14 senators elected from a pool of 58 contestants.
The winners included 12 provincial and Kigali City representatives, and one each for public and private higher institutions of learning, respectively.
According to the coordinator of the observation mission, Eric Manzi, the elections were characterised by transparency from the time of applying up to the elections.
“The process followed the law and regulations as well as the schedule fixed by the National Electoral Commission,” Manzi said.
He added that civil society observers noticed that during the campaign period, all the candidates were offered ample time to present their manifestos, as provided by the law.
He, however, said that the team observed that the candidate for private institutions of higher learning was accorded more time.
“It could be because this candidate was running unopposed, but as civil society observers, we wanted the law to be followed under any circumstances,” said Manzi, adding that otherwise, all the other candidates were accorded equal time to campaign.
They added that they had observed that the candidates had solid campaign manifestos, different from the ones in the previous senate elections.
They further pointed out that the female representation in the campaigns was commendable, so was the voters turn up, estimated at 95 percent.