Former speaker, 11 others bounce back as women representatives

Former speaker Rose Mukantabana and eleven others have returned to the Chamber of Deputies on women ticket following Tuesday’s indirect poll.
Former Speaker Rose Mukantabana. The New Times/File
Former Speaker Rose Mukantabana. The New Times/File

Former speaker Rose Mukantabana and eleven others have returned to the Chamber of Deputies on women ticket following Tuesday’s indirect poll.

They are among 24 women who were picked from a pack of 103 candidates across the country by women Electoral Colleges in five constituencies.

In preliminary results released yesterday by the National Electoral Commission, Mukantabana, one of the five candidates who were vying for the two seats reserved for the City of Kigali, received 9,105 votes, equivalent to 93.94 per cent of the votes cast.

Mukantabana, who first joined parliament in 2008 as a women representative, was joined by fellow former parliamentarian Yvonne Uwayisenga to represent Kigali in the August House.

Uwayisenga, once a deputy speaker herself, polled 7,851 votes, representing 81 per cent of the total votes, according to the preliminary results.

A total of 9,738 voters formed the City of Kigali Electoral College alone.

Up to 130,458 voters, constituting women council committees from the grassroots to the national level, countrywide, took part in the Tuesday poll.

In each constituency, voters had the right to vote for as many candidates as their quota allowed.

Kigali has two women seats in the Chamber of Deputies, Northern Province four slots, while the Eastern, Western and Southern provinces has six women seats each.

Other women who retained their parliamentary seats include Berthe Mujawamariya, Athanasie Nyiragwaneza and Jeanne d'Arc Uwimanimpaye, who will represent the Eastern Province.

Nura Nikuze and Jeanne d'Arc Nyinawase bounced back as the representatives of the Western Province, while the Northern Province also returned Fortunee Nyiramadirida and Suzanne Mukayijore to the Lower House.

In the Southern Province, incumbents Athanasie Gahondogo and Ignacienne Nyirarukundo are among those who sailed through.

Five of the women representatives in the 2008-2013 Parliament stood on the ruling Rwanda Patriotic Party ticket this time round, and have all rejoined the House.

They include Libérata Mukarindiro, Marie Thérèse Murekatete, Winifried Niyitegeka, Agnes Nyirabagenzi and Euthalie Nyirabega.

An RPF-dominated coalition garnered a convincing 76.22 per cent victory from Monday’s general election for the 53 seats reserved for political parties and independent candidates.

This year’s parliamentary elections handed women an overwhelming majority in the 80-member Lower House, with an unprecedented 64 per cent.

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