- Nirere’s replacement still hangs in balance
Former Minister of Health Dr. Ezechias Rwabuhihi, has returned to parliament replacing Bikoro Munyanganizi, who relinquished his seat after being implicated in a tax evasion scam.
Rwabuhihi had been left out of the second parliament because he was number 43 on the list of the coalition of political parties led by Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF/Inkotanyi), which was allocated only 42 seats.
Commenting on the replacement of Munyanganizi, the chairman of the National Electoral Commission Prof. Chrysologue Karangwa, revealed that parliament wrote to the commission informing it of the resignation of the legislator.
“The Parliament wrote informing us about Bikoro’s resignation and requesting for his replacement. Since Bikoro was an RPF representative, we revisited their list of candidates and named the next person in line who was Dr. Rwabuhihi.”
Two more seats remain vacant including that of Beatrice Nirere who is currently serving life sentence for her role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, and that of Gerald Ntwari the recently appointed ambassador designate to Belgium.
Ntwari, who was named ambassador in Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting, is a member of the Socio-Democratic Party (PSD) while Nirere is from the RPF.
According to the Deputy Speaker of Parliament Denis Polisi; “the swearing in of Rwabihihi would depend on availability of the President there is no specific time set for the swearing in.”
During last year’s parliamentary polls, the RPF and its coalition garnered 42 seats, but Rwabuhihi was number 43 on the list of 80 candidates making him lose his parliamentary seat.
The electoral law requires automatic elevation of the next name on the list in case an MP vacates a seat in whichever circumstance.
Meanwhile, Karangwa said he was still waiting for a written document from Parliament requesting for the replacement of Nirere who was convicted by a Gacaca court barely months into her entering the August House.
“I have not received any communication from parliament about the replacement of Nirere, the parliament should tell you reasons why they have not communicated to us yet they sent us a letter requesting for the replacement of Munyanganizi.”
He added: “NEC will immediately respond if the parliament requests for the replacement of Nirere like we have done for Bikoro.” Deputy Speaker of Parliament Denis Polisi said that there is a process that has to be taken for Nirere’s replacement.
“In response to the request of the judicial authorities, the house stripped Nirere of her immunity so that she could be followed up in courts. After then, she was arrested,” said Polisi.
“Parliament has to wait for communication from concerned authorities, for this particular case, it can be the judiciary or the political party that can request for her replacement and informs the parliament,” said Polisi.
He added: “after that step that is when the parliament would take on the process of writing to NEC for her replacement.”