NYARUGENGE - The National Electoral Commission (NEC) yesterday at Nyarugenge District main hall met all parliamentary candidates and reminded them of instructions that will govern their campaigns.
The parliamentary hopefuls who begun their electoral campaigns on Monday were mainly told to avoid any activities that could bring about public insecurity or disturb the electoral process.
They were reminded of the things that are prohibited during campaigns such as bribing voters, mudslinging fellow contestants and using public funds.
“Campaign activities have been known for bringing about trouble in some countries. In this country, let us make sure that the campaign process doesn’t disrupt the general serenity of the people,” NEC Chairman Prof. Chrysologue Karangwa told the candidates who were crowded in the District’s main hall.
The candidates carefully listened as the commission’s officials read and explained different instructions that govern the campaign.
Some of the contestants were taking notes while others clapped their hands when something favorable to their activities was pronounced.
The candidates got time to ask questions after hearing the commission’s instructions.
“Who officially leads campaign activities when they take place?” one of the contestants asked the eight-man NEC panel.
The answer to his question was that neither government officials nor NEC’s agents are responsible for leading campaign activities of the contestants.
These are allowed to kick off their campaigns as long as the local government authority in areas of campaigns had been informed about it.
A number of other candidates asked whether they would be given any transport assistance by the electoral commission, especially those candidates from pressure groups of women, youth, and the disabled.
The answer here was that NEC will only transport people of the voting colleges for women, youth and the disabled on the day of polls. The Candidates will cater for themselves during the campaigns.
“We don’t want to interfere with candidates’ campaign activities,” Prof. Karangwa explained.
Yesterday’s NEC meeting with candidates sounded to some like the final go ahead to start their campaigns.
“I now feel ready and prepared. What is important is to win and everyone puts in every effort to ensure they do,” said Euthalie Nyirabega, one of the candidates, after attending the meeting.
The parliamentary election campaigns that officially kicked off on Monday will close on September 13.
Rwandans go to general parliamentary polls on September 15. Elections through representatives of the pressure groups’ representatives will follow.