The first part in the parliamentary elections is over, and Rwandans are waiting to complete the process with elections for Women representatives and the Youth today, and the Disabled tomorrow Wednesday.
Without a doubt the elections have been transparent and held in a free atmosphere, without any kind of slightest intimidation or coercion; and there cannot be a better election observer than fellow Rwandans who have participated in the poll.
It is heartening that thousands poured onto polling stations to exercise their right to vote, because it is through practices such as the parliamentary elections that are going on, that a citizen can exercise and chart a democratic path to their political development.
Rwandans have to be congratulated upon the manner in which they conducted themselves when electing their MPs, often showing an old world courtesy to pregnant women, the elderly and the clearly disabled, when they were given priority to access the polling booths. The discipline and organisation was remarkable.
At this time of paying tribute to well organised elections, one cannot forget the central role of the Rwanda National Electoral Commission which has overseen the whole programme right from the beginning.
Voter registration, civic education, and the logistical arrangements were superbly conducted, and preliminary reports indicate that there was no late voting owing to late delivery of voting items.
This is amazing in the sense that what was once an island of chaos has almost magically transformed into an island of serenity and order amidst a region fraught with many challenges.
It will now remain the bounden duty of the yet-to-be declared winners of seats in Parliament, to reciprocate our goodwill and determination to rid ourselves of negative references by our detractors, by conscientiously advocating for rules and laws that push the agenda for the common man’s development, and not those that retard his progress.
We need our Parliament to be more vigilant in checking excesses or the lack of progress of the work of the Executive and Judiciary, as those august bodies also check on Parliament.
The last Parliament was credited with following up vigorously on the Auditor General’s reports, among other duties regarding debating and passing important bills. We hope that the incoming Parliament will be even more active.