The New Times (Kigali)

29 January 2013

Rwanda: National Electoral Commission Proposals Should Be Embraced

editorial

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

PROPOSALS aimed at introducing electoral reforms ahead of parliamentary polls are another milestone in consolidating the electoral gains so far achieved.

The National Electoral Commission (NEC) has submitted a list of proposals to streamline the electoral process. The aim is to help the Commission preside over credible and transparent elections. These electoral reforms are tailored for the common good of Rwandans and to consolidate the democratisation achievements so far registered.

One of the most important proposals is the sensitisation of the population on their electoral rights through civic education. While the right to vote is widely recognised as a fundamental human right, this right is not fully enforced for millions of people around the world.

In the current law, voter registration has been compulsory. If you are 18 years and above, it is a legal obligation meaning that 'if you don't follow it, the law will punish you? But the electoral commission wants to change that. The argument is that it is better to educate people to exercise their civil right rather than presenting it as if it's a law.

Civil rights are inherent. People, out of their conviction should attach great value to their vote. Their vote is a key to whether their needs will be met. It's their vote that will determine if they have the right leaders to address their needs and challenges. So sensitising them that voting or abstaining, greatly impacts on their well being is important. They will realise that without voting they are putting their lives and the future of their country at stake.

And voting starts with registration in order to be eligible to vote. These are essential tenets for a stable democracy and prosperity. There is no country that has achieved prosperity without stability. Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his/her country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2013 The New Times. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.

InFocus

Rwanda Gears Up for Parliamentary Polls

Standing in line to vote (file photo).

The National Electoral Commission has put forward new proposals as they prepare for parliamentary polls set to take place around September. Read more »