PL circus extended to Electoral Commission?

The world would have been spared the near-circus going on in the Liberal Party (PL) as it stumbles from one crisis to another, if plain fair play had taken precedence over anything else.

The world would have been spared the near-circus going on in the Liberal Party (PL) as it stumbles from one crisis to another, if plain fair play had taken precedence over anything else.

At first it was an accusation against party president Protais Mitali and first vice president Odette Nyiramirimo among others over rigging party elections, by some few party members.

Some of their accusers were – no credit for guessing right – legislators Elie Ngirabakunzi and Isae Murashi, in addition to other party heavyweights like Emmanuel Musabyimana, Laurien Nyabyenda and Emmanuel Uwimana.

When the accused came out of the scuffle scathed but still fighting, the next stage act was to sponsor a motion kicking the troubling people out of the party.

They were duly kicked out, and this meant since they were no longer party members, they could no longer represent the party in parliament.

The party president duly notified the Speaker, who in turn notified the National Electoral Commission, which also – very fast indeed – held prompt elections and came up with Ngirabakunzi and Murashi’s replacements in Francois Udahemuka and Charles Kamanda.

Now, court has overturned the decision to chase the MPs out of the House. All this since August 5, when the party held its elections.

There is nothing unusual in internal party wrangling, even if it cannot build confidence in the party faithful, or even attract a larger following.

What is unusual is the speed at which the decision to replace the sacked MPs, and the decision by the National Electoral Commission to accept to hold such elections, even when it was known that the expelled MPs had lodged a case in court against their sacking.

Very simply, in order to avoid unnecessary controversy, NEC should have merely waited for the case to be disposed of in court first.

Now NEC is in a quagmire about holding a possibly illegal election, for which it is liable. If both NEC and Parliament had been ruled by prudence, they wouldn’t have a situation where PL has two sets of House representatives – two already sworn in, and two waiting in the wings to be sworn in.
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