PL, PSD parties elect candidates for Sept. polls

The Liberal Party (PL) has finalised elections of its flag bearers as the date for September 16 parliamentary elections draw closer.
(L) Dr Biruta’s PSD party is ready for the polls, (R) while Mitali’s Liberal Party is amending the 2010 manifesto. The New Times/ File.
(L) Dr Biruta’s PSD party is ready for the polls, (R) while Mitali’s Liberal Party is amending the 2010 manifesto. The New Times/ File.

The Liberal Party (PL) has finalised elections of its flag bearers as the date for September 16 parliamentary elections draw closer.

PL chairperson Protais Mitali said the party on Sunday held elections of its flag bearers at the provincial level and they are now preparing a manifesto.

Mitali, also the minister for sports and culture, added that his party is currently revising the manifesto they would use while campaigning.

“We are using the same manifesto we used in the 2010 Presidential Election, but we are revising it to conform with parliamentary requirements. We are hopeful we will win more seats,” said Mitali.

Currently, PL has seven MPs in Parliament, including three women representatives.

Meanwhile, Social Democratic Party (PSD) president Vincent Biruta said they primaries at provincial levels at the weekend.

“We are done with the preparations at the provincial level and are now waiting for the approval of the final list of candidates on August 4. We’re preparing our manifesto,” Dr Biruta, also the Minister for Education, said.

The Union Democratique du Peuple Rwanda (UDPR) said they are considering a coalition with the ruling Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF).

However, Senator Perrine Mukankusi, the UDPR first vice president, said a coalition is an initiative that her party has to first agree upon with RPF. She said the party has an alternative plan to vie for House seats independent of RPF.

Mukankusi said they were yet to nominate their final candidates to contest in the September polls.

“We benefited a lot from the coalition with the ruling party, especially in political stability, sharing ideas and leadership, and it would be prudent for us to continue that way,” she said.

UDPR has only one seat in the Chamber of Deputies occupied by party chief Gonzaga Rwigema.

PS-Imberakuri to stand alone

Meanwhile, Parti Social (PS) Imberakuri, the youngest political party, will compete in the elections on its own.

Christine Mukabunani, the party chairperson, said: “We shall vie as autonomous party,”  adding that preparations were underway to nominate the party candidates.

All political parties compete for a total of 53 of the 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 the ruling Rwandese Patriotic Front won the last parliamentary elections held on September 15, 2008 with 42 seats and 79 per cent of votes.

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).

RPF conducted its district primaries on Sunday, with 120 hopefuls given the green light to face the secretariat for vetting.

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