Rwanda: Roadmap for Presidential Poll Released

The Government is ready for next year’s presidential poll, an official announced yesterday.

Rwandans will go to polls on Friday August 4, 2017, to elect the Head of State in the country’s third multiparty presidential elections since the end of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The date for the presidential election was announced over the weekend following a Cabinet meeting last week.

But speaking at a news conference at the Prime Minister’s office, yesterday, State minister for Socio-Economic Development, Vincent Munyeshyaka, detailed the electoral roadmap.

The minister said that while Rwandans who live in the country will vote on August 4, those who live abroad will vote the day before (August 3).

From June 5 to 14, 2017, the electoral commission will be receiving applications for presidential candidates and the final list of candidates will be announced on June 27.

Campaigns for the qualified candidates will officially begin on July 14 and end on August 3, just a day before the elections.

Munyeshyaka said the Government has allocated Rwf5.4 billion for the polls, which he said will be enough to fund the elections.

He said thousands of electoral volunteers are expected to help in the process who, he said, help bring down the costs of elections.

“We would like to thank many Rwandans who work as volunteers during the elections. They make it possible to use a smaller budget,” Munyeshyaka said at the news briefing.

The minister said that final results from the election will be announced on August 16, paving the way for a seven-year mandate for the elected Head of State.

Figures from the National Electoral Commission indicate that about 6.6 million Rwandans are expected to vote in the forthcoming presidential election but process to update the voters’ register is ongoing under the commission’s supervision until May 2017.

The country’s first multiparty democratic presidential poll took place in 2003 while the second was held in 2010.

Both elections were won by President Paul Kagame from the ruling party, RPF-Inkotanyi, and he is expected to run again in the next presidential polls after Rwandans changed the country’s Constitution last year, making him eligible to seek another mandate if he so chooses.

NEC officials have called on all citizens eligible to vote in the forthcoming presidential election to verify their particulars on the electoral register in their respective cells and villages to ensure that they are ready to participate in the polls.

©Alleastafrica and The New Times

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