28 January 2013

Rwanda: NEC Wants Polling Stations to Open At 7am

Photo: F. Kanyesigye
Standing in line to vote (file photo).

Polling stations countrywide will open at 7am instead of 6am as before if new proposals by the National Electoral Commission (NEC) are approved, Charles Munyaneza, the NEC executive secretary, said in an exclusive interview, last week.

The NEC is gearing to hold Parliamentary elections, around September.

A draft election calendar is yet to be approved and, in addition, the electoral law has been reviewed, though Parliament is yet to pass the new law containing several amendments.

In the new code, Munyaneza said, it is proposed that time for opening polling stations be moved to 7am instead of the current schedule.

Closing time not changed

Munyaneza said, "In most parts of our country, we still have a problem of not having enough electricity supply, yet for elections we use government buildings, schools and other places that do not have electricity. We found that maybe 6am could still be too early."

"Secondly, we did not want the population having to wake up so early going to the polls. Three, it has also been inconveniencing some of our staff who are supposed to be at the polling stations at least one hour before the polls open. However, closing time remains 3pm."

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