Home Rwanda Decides 2024 Paul Kagame Delivers His Application for Presidential Candidature to National Electoral Commission

Paul Kagame Delivers His Application for Presidential Candidature to National Electoral Commission

by Jean de la Croix Tabaro
11:29 am

NEC chairperson(L) receiving file from the incumbent Paul Kagame

The National Electoral Commission(NEC) has today started to receive files of prospective candidates for presidency in the July 14-15 presidential  and parliamentary elections.

The Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) Inkotanyi flag bearer, incumbent Paul Kagame has become the first prospective candidate to present his file.

This morning at NEC headquarters, the aspirant was accompanied by First Lady Jeannette Kagame.

“The file is complete,” said the chairperson of National Electoral commission, Oda Gasinzigwa after verifying.

In an interview to Kigali Today, Wellars Gasamagera, the Secretary General of RPF Inkotanyi said: “NEC has received the candidacy of our aspirant which is a big milestone bot only for our party but for the country at large. The next step for us is to go and prepare. We shall hold several congresses with party members to prepare the field for campaigns.”

Gasamagera further said, that it is time to now start disseminating the RPF manifesto “to show the Rwandan citizens that what we are doing is not a joke.”

Kagame was elected by the RPF to represent them in these elections on March 9,2024 with 99.1 per cent votes against Sheilkh Abdul Kharim Harerimana with 0.9 per cent votes.

Following the choice of RPF Inkotanyi, most of other political parties who already belong to the National Forum of Political Parties announced their stand as allies of the former. Those include PSD, PL, PDI, PPC, PSP, PSR and UDPR.

The incumbent Paul Kagame was first elected in 2000 as interim president replacing Pasteri Bizimungu who had resigned. In 2003, Kagame was elected for a seven year term and was re-elected in 2010 to serve another seven year term.

In 2015, meaning two years to the end of his term which was meant to be the last one, the citizens woke up and requested the Rwanda Parliament to amend the constitution and allow the incumbent to run again in 2017 because they still had many expectations in him.

In a referendum of December 2017, the citizen voted for the change of article 101 which provided that the President could serve for one term of seven years renewable only once.

In this article, the constitution narrowed the term limit down to five years renewable once, but in its article 172, the constitution provided that the president in office at the time of the review of the constitution, should serve the remaining period, then be allowed to run for another seven year presidential term in order to establish a firm foundation of the country.

It also provided that the term limits provided in the amended constitution should apply after the seven year term which is due to end in August this year.

In 2017, Kagame was elected for another seven years beating Frank Habineza of Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, and an independent candidate Philippe Mpayimana.

Kagame won the elections with 98.7 per cent of the votes, while Mpayimana secured 0.7 per cent and Habineza, 0.4 per cent.

This year, eight prospect candidates have expressed their intention to vie for presidency.

The Electoral Calendar

During a press conference of May 16,2024, NEC said that voters are readying for elections with more than two million first time voters out of nearly ten million total people on the voter list.

From May 17 through May 30, NEC will receive files for prospect candidates for presidency. On June 14, the commission will release the provisional list of Presidential candidates. Final list will be released on June….and campaigns will start on June 22 through July 13.

Meanwhile, the presidential election is combined with the lower chamber’s of parliament elections. On July 14 with diaspora going into polls and July 15 when tRwandans in the country decide, voters will elect members of 30 per cent women, the youth representatives and a representative of people with disability.

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