The Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF) primaries yesterday entered a crucial stage with the party electing district-level representatives for the parliamentary elections slated for September 16.
Members of the RPF committees picked four candidates from each of the 30 districts—shared two apiece on gender—from the top 20 from the cell level.
The list of successful candidates in yesterday’s poll will be sent to the RPF Secretariat to decide on the final candidates from all districts who will be nominated for the September polls.
RPF will tussle it out with PS Imberakuli, Social Democratic Party and Liberal Party, among others, in a contest for 53 parliamentary seats.
Yesterday’s election followed July 7 primaries where RPF committees at cell level voted a man and a woman to represent them in Parliament.
The general assembly of RPF at district level constituted the voters in yesterday’s exercise.
According to the constitution, all political parties compete for a total of 53 out of 80 seats in Parliament, while the remaining members are elected by electoral colleges that represent women, youth and the disabled for a five-year term.
A coalition led by RPF won the last parliamentary elections.
It was made up of RPF-Inkotanyi, Centrist Democratic Party (PDC), Parti du Progrès et la Concorde (PPC), Union Démocratique du Peuple Rwandais (UDPR), Parti de la Solidarité et du Progrès (PSP), Parti Socialiste Rwandais (PSR) and the Ideal Democratic Party (PDI).
The parties that joined with RPF are yet to decide on a coalition. Standing alone, the Social Democratic Party won seven seats and the Liberal Party four.
Contributed by Jean de la Croix Tabaro, Stephen Rwembeho, Jean d’Amour Mbonyinshuti and Jean Pierre Bucyensenge
Seven women joined 10 men to tussle it out for votes. Incumbent Marie Therese Murekatete was returned alongside Emelienne Uwumuremyi, the in charge of public relations and customer care in the district. Jean Damacsene Habiyambere and Diogene Silimu, who represents youth at the National Youth Council, were the male candidates elected.
Incumbent Devothe Uwamaliya polled the most votes to win the female candidate ticket. She was joined by Fortune Uwamaliya. Pierre Damien Hakizayezu, of National Taskforce Itorero, and Felicien Mporanyimana, got the tickets for men.
The majority of the 534 voters elected Christine Akimpaye, from Rwanda Correctional Services, and incumbent Pelagie Mukantaganzwa. Diogene Bitunguremye and Jean Munyemana were the elected male candidates.
Dr Gabriel Semasaka was given another ticket and will be joined by Willy Butera. Fortune Nyiramadirida, an incumbent, and Drothee Nzayituriki, RPF district secretary, were the women of choice at the polls.
The males are Jean Marie Vianney Gatabazi, of Rwanda Biomedical Centre, and Eugene Ntazinda. The tickets for women went to Agnes Mukangiruwonsanga, a farmer, and Marie Aline Uwizeye, of Rwanda Exports Board.
Constance Mukayuhi, Alphonse Murenzi, Saleh Habimana, the former Mufti of Rwanda, and Saverina Uwimana are the candidates voters picked to represent their interests.
Belthe Mujawamariya, Godace Mukama, Evariste Gasana and Jean Bosco Hitayezu were elected.
Francis Kaboneka, and Innocent Ruhinda were elected, while in Gatsibo district, Capiteni Atha Aliezar, John Gatete, Juliana Kantengwa and Karen Abatesi were the choice candidates.
Theoneste Safari Begumisa, Francois Bizimana, and Beratha Mukarindiro were elected.
Laurent Ngarambe, Geofrey Mugabo, Libertha Kaitesi and Fausca Uwingabire await the RPF green light to head for the September elections.
Some 344 voters turned up out of 362.
Incumbents Julienne Uwacu and Marie Josee Twizereyezu had vote of confidence. The men are Emmanuel Rukambiza and Ernest Ntamugabo.
Incumbent Alfred Kayiranga Rwasa is joined by Straton Kamanzi Rugamba. Incumbent Francoise Mukayiranga and Jeanne Kaduhoze were the preferred women.
Some 408 voters took part in the exercise to select RPF party representatives, according to the party chairperson Gedeon Ruboneza.
Damien Nyabyenda, Amiel Ngabo were neck and neck for men’s ticket, while Marie Rose Musabirema is joined by Donatile Mukakarangwa for women.
Delegates elected Marie Rose Mureshyankwano and Izyizihiza Arida, for women, while Boniface Nyaminani and Elie Safari sailed through as the male candidates.
Noula Nikuze and Jeanne Niyonsaba are for women, with Theobald Mporanyi and Basile Bayihiki the preferred males.
Marie Josee Kankera and Esperence Mwiza were elected, while the male winners are Rene Kalimunda and Leonce Ndashimye.
Samuel Musabyimana, Jean Claude Mutuyimana are the successful males, with Landrada Umuraza and Francoise Mukandekezi the women.
Bernard Kayumba, the Karongi party chairperson, said 495 delegates took part in the electoral exercise that was “fair and transparent.”
Innocent Kayitare and Clement Kalisa were declared winners for men. Winifrida Niyitegeka and Athanasi Gahondogo are for women.
Kambanda Rucweli Hormisdas, Jean Bosco Munyantore, Euthalie Nyirabega and Shalon Tumusiime were elected.
Marie Alexie Nyiramahenekero, Consolee Uwanyirigira, Kalinijabo Balthelemy and Innocent Kayiranga.
Jean Damascene Murara and Theogene Rusangannwa are for men. Agnes Nyirabagenzi and Monique Mukakarera are for women.
Alphonse Nshimiyimana, Jerome Mbonirema, Speciose Mukandutiye and Velentine Uwamariya.
Desiré Nyandwi, Diogene Zinarizima, Donatile Ayinkamiye and Myrielle Uwabyawe sailed through.
Claver Rwaka, Fidele Bukuba, Alphonsine Mukarugema and Epiphanie Mujawayezu.
Prisca Mujawayezu, Thacienne Mukandamage, Francois Karamaga and Antoine Bisizi.
City of Kigali
Eugene Barikana polled 318 of the 388 votes cast to beat his nearest challenger Bernard Banamwana. Former Justice minister Eda Mukabagwiza, who was voted in absentia, and Agnes Mukazibera, the incumbent, were the two female candidates of choice.
“We will not let you down since you had trust in us. If we sail through we will be representing the country; we shall seek your ideas on things that would develop Nyarugenge, the country’s mirror,” Barikana, the former director of cabinet in the Prime Minister’s office, said after he was declared the winner.
Solange Mukasonga, the district mayor and RPF chairperson, urged the district flag bearers to work together and help the district develop.
Evariste Kayihura, a member of RPF committee in Nyarugenge, said contestants should approach citizens even after the elections. “We see MPs only on TV! They should return to the grassroots and consult us. We need advocacy for people in disaster risk zones; we want these candidates to advocate for them to get land to relocate to,” Kayihura said.
There were 10 men and 10 women canvassing for votes from 459 voters at the indoor stadium in Remera.
But two women withdrew their candidature moments to the elections, citing personal reasons. Each candidate was given three minutes to campaign.
But this seemingly was not enough to most of the candidates as the presiding officer was always obliged to interrupt them at the tick of the allotted time.
The youngest, Chantal Ishimwe, a fresh graduate, did her best to convince that she would support women improve their living conditions if she was entrusted a seat. She lost.
The Gasabo voters preferred incumbent Amb. Zeno Mutimura and Edouard Bamporiki, a filmmaker. Cecile Murumunawabo and Cecile Mukabutera, will be vetted by the RPF Secretariat to as the two women from Gasabo.
Hopefuls explained how they have been close to the people from their current and former business to convince voters. They promised to do more if given an opportunity to become MPs.
Emmanuel Mudidi, a former minister of education and incumbent MP, will represent the district together with Fidele Rwigamba, former Permanent Secretary in the Senate.
Esperance Nyirasafali and Fransisca Tengera, of the National Women Council, sailed through and will join their male counterparts before the party secretariat for vetting.