The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: 2010 Elections Set for August 9

Kigali — The 2010 presidential elections have been set for Monday, August 9, 2010. This was announced by the Cabinet yesterday.

The Cabinet which was chaired by President Paul Kagame also directed that the campaigns begin on July 20 and close on August 8, at 06:00am.

In a related issue, the National Electoral Commission (NEC) yesterday also revealed that over 5.2million Rwandans are expected to turn up for the forthcoming presidential polls.

NEC is currently updating and revising the voters registers at the grass root levels.

Addressing the press on the preparations, the Executive Secretary of NEC Charles Munyaneza said; "the prediction we have indicates that about 5.2 million Rwandans will turn up for the election."

The number of voters will increase by 1.3 million compared to 2003 presidential elections when 3.9 million people voted.

Munyaneza added that the projected budget is Rwf 6 billion, which has more than doubled compared to Rwf 2.3bn used in 2003.

The Government so far raised Rwf 3.5billion generated from the 2009/10 budget and is planning to release more funds in the 2010/11 budget.

Development partners that have so far made pledges totalling Rwf 2.3billion include DFID with Euros1 million (Approx. Rwf 824m), European Union - 1.5m (Approx Rwf 1.2bn) and the Netherlands Euros 250,000 (Approx Rwf 210m).

"We already have a memorandum of understandings with these donors, meaning we are assured of their funds," said Munyaneza, adding that they were not faced with shortage of funds

A unique feature in the forthcoming elections is that the voter cards will bear photos of voters, which was not the case in all previous elections.

"We are working with the National Identity Card Project to have the voters' cards processed. The photo on the national ID will be the same Photo on every individual's voter's card," he said.

16,000 polling stations will be set up while 70,000 polling agents are currently undergoing training.

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