The National Election Commission (NEC) has accredited over 1,200 observers to monitor the parliamentary elections scheduled for next week.
According to NEC Executive Secretary Charles Munyaneza, the first group of observers was from Commonwealth countries, having arrived in the country on Friday.
“The second group from other Commonwealth countries is expected today, while others who have started arriving are from the African Union,” Munyaneza said yesterday.
“Majority of the observers will be here by September 10.”
A report released to the media by the commission on Saturday indicated that they had accredited 1,236 observers, including 176 from outside the country.
The accreditation will continue until September 14, just two days before the election slated for September 16.
NEC says international observers accredited to observe the elections include the European Union, African Union, Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries (CEPGL) and the East African Community (EAC).
The EAC has announced that its observer mission consisting 36 members, and headed by Kenya’s former Minister of EAC Affairs, Musa Sirma, will be on the ground from September 10–19 as part of the bloc’s efforts to deepen democracy in the region.
Rwanda will hold parliamentary elections from September 16 to 18. The Chamber of Deputies has 80 members elected for a five year term: 53 MPs are voted by all Rwandans eligible to vote; 24 female MPs are elected by women committee members at all levels and district and sector council members.
Two MPs are elected by the National Youth Councils at district and national levels as well as eight student representatives from secondary schools and eight from higher learning institutions; one MP is elected by representatives of district, provincial and national Councils of People with Disabilities.
The General elections will take place on September 16. The election of the 24 female Members of Parliament will be held on September 17, and the election of youth and people with disabilities Members of Parliament will be held on September 18. Polling stations are expected to be open from 7am to 3pm.
Provisional results are expected no later than September 20 and final results not later than September 25. In the last parliamentary election, 56 per cent of elected members of parliament were women.
There are 410 candidates for the 80 seats in the Chamber of Deputies. Up to 5,953,531 Rwandans are eligible to vote.