The Executive Secretary of National Electoral Commission (NEC), Charles Munyaneza, has revealed that Rwanda’s electoral system allows women to be largely represented in parliament and that it is likely to continue even in upcoming parliamentary elections to be held in September 2-4, this year.
In the interview with Xinhua’s reporter, Munyaneza pinpoints that women have reserved seats in the parliament and that they can even be voted to represent their political parties and, thus, their number increases.
“It stands now at 64% (women representation) and it is likely to continue like that, because apart from the 24 that are specifically elected, there are also other women who can be elected from political parties’ lists. Among the two youths’ MPs, one must be a gentleman and the other one must be a lady.” The Chairperson underscores.
He then clarifies that NEC is well prepared with the September parliamentary elections as it was endorsed by cabinet on 14th February 2018, revealing that Rwandans in diaspora will cast their votes in September 2 while the general election will be held on 3rd September across the country.
On 4th September, there will also be elections for categories represented in the parliament including 24 seats reserved for women, 2 MPs elected by youth and one for handicapped.
According to the calendar, the candidatures will be received from July 12-25, 2018, while the confirmed will be revealed on 6th August and electoral campaigns will be held between 13th August and 1st September.
Provisional results will be announced not longer than five days after the poll while the final results will be confirmed by September 16, 2018.
Munyaneza, however, says that the provisional results will be announced within 24hours due to effective systems put in place.
“Normally we don’t wait for all that time. We have put in place mechanisms including the IT systems that enable us to announce at least provisional results within 24 hours.” Munyaneza adds.
Talking about qualifications, he says that all the candidates either independent or listed from political parties are supposed to be at least 21years old, registered voters, people of integrity but more importantly not convicted by any court of law for six months or above.
Independent candidates are supposed to have at least 600 hundred Rwandans registered voters signing for them approving their candidatures and among them there ought to be at least 12 in each district in the whole country.
Charles Munyaneza proves Rwanda’s Parliamentary Electoral System To Be Suitable
Rwandan Parliament consists of 106 parliamentarians including 80 elected for a 5year term in the lower chamber and 26 senators elected for an 8year term in the upper chamber.
Rwanda has 64% of women’s representation in the parliament which makes her the first in the whole world. She is followed by Bolivia, Cuba, Iceland, Nicaragua and Sweden while women only hold 23% of all seats in parliaments and senates globally