Home NewsNational “We Are On Track”- National Electoral Commission Says As Campaigns Inch Closer

“We Are On Track”- National Electoral Commission Says As Campaigns Inch Closer

by Edmund Kagire
2:09 pm

NEC Chairperson, Oda Gasinzigwa, Executive Secretary Charles Munyaneza (right) and Commission, Faustin Semanywa, left, address the media.

The National Electoral Commission (NEC) says preparations for the forthcoming Presidential and Parliamentary elections are right on track with everything planned going as expected, ahead of the commencement of electoral campaigns which kickoff on June 22.

Addressing the media on Thursday at the electoral body’s head’s office, Oda Gasinzigwa, who was flanked by commissioners, said that the process of receiving candidatures and verifying the status of the candidates went well, leading to the confirmation of the final list of candidates on June 11.

Gasinzigwa said that all prospective candidates were given an opportunity to submit all requirements, affirming that all the people who submitted the requirements as stipulated in the law, made it to the final list of candidates, whether they were looking to contest for Presidency or as Members of Parliament.

Reacting to reports that some candidates complained about being left out on the list of confirmed candidates, Gasinzigwa said that there was enough time for candidates to submit all the requirements to make it to the final list but some failed to do so while others did it at the last minute.

“We are now at the next important milestone, which is the candidates who made it to the final list going ahead to campaign. We are also continuing with the voter registry update, where we are seeing many Rwandans using the different digital ways to update their status and where they will vote from. We are seeing a lot of enthusiasm,” Gasinzigwa said, adding that the voter registration and update exercise will end on June 28.

NEC Chairperson Gasinzigwa said all the candidates who fulfilled the requirements made it to the final list.

“We want to remind all Rwandans of voting age, wherever they are, whether in the diaspora, to use this opportunity to check and update their status. They can dial *169# and follow prompts or visit the NEC website,” Gasinzigwa said, pointing out that the provisional voters registry shows that more than 9 million Rwandans will vote in the polls set for July 14 in diaspora and July 15 countrywide.

The incumbent, President Paul Kagame, seeking re-election on the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF-Inkotanyi) ticket, will run against Frank Habineza, of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda (DGRP) and Philippe Mpayimana, an independent candidate in the Presidential Polls. They are expected to hit the campaign trail beginning this Saturday.

Gasinzigwa reminded candidates to campaign in an orderly manner, inline with the law, including campaigning in designated places, which they indicated to NEC and Police before, to ensure orderly, safe and secure campaigns.

She cautioned candidates against campaigning in churches and schools, and to desist from engaging in anti-campaign activities such as decampaigning fellow candidates or using illegal ways to lure voters, such as religion, ethnicity and social groupings, among other things.

NEC urged candidates to conduct their campaigns in a lawful and orderly manner.

Gasinzigwa dispelled rumours that some individuals were denied the right to get on the final list yet they submitted all the requirements, pointing out that NEC did due diligence on all the files submitted and where necessary requested the prospective candidates to align their files but some didn’t.

“As we previously mentioned, some candidates did not submit all the requirements, and we requested them to bring them while others had issues in the lists of people who signed for them. Either the ID number did not match the name or some details had been falsified. We explained to them and showed them,”

“We wanted to know that these people who want to contest for these positions can have at least 12 signatures from each of the 30 districts. If you want to become President, prove that you can have 12 genuine people who can sign for you in each district,” she said, reiterating that these are important positions which people shouldn’t play around with.

The electoral commission said that there was enough time for the prospective candidates to go back and get things right but they didn’t, hence missing out on a chance of making the final list.