8 August 2018

Rwanda: Parliament to Be Dissolved On Thursday

The current Parliament was officially sworn in in 2013, and tasked to leverage the unity of Rwandans and work together to keep Rwanda a free, independent, and thriving country.

The lower house is scheduled to be dissolved Thursday as Rwandans prepare to hold elections for new Members of Parliament.

The elections are due September 2-4.

The outgoing Parliament is third since Rwanda held its first post-Genocide parliamentary elections in 2003. President Paul Kagame is expected to officiate at the ceremony.

Article 79 of the constitution stipulates that the President of the Republic is required to dissolve the Chamber of Deputies at least 30 days and not more than 60 days before the expiry of its current members' term of office.

The current Parliament was officially sworn in on October 4, 2013, when the Head of State tasked MPs in the House to leverage the unity of Rwandans and work together to keep Rwanda a free, independent, and thriving country.

Over the last five years, a number of significant laws have been passed.

Speaking at the House's last session on Monday, the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Donatille Mukabalisa, thanked the MPs for having worked well with each other and noted that cooperation among themselves had helped to achieve a lot.

"What we have achieved during all this time is thanks to cooperation among us. Striving to work hard and complementing each other helped us to achieve excellent results and we indeed worked well with other institutions in the country," she said.

Dissolving the House will pave way for parliamentary elections. Campaigns are slated to officially kick off on Monday, August 13.

The National Electoral Commission (NEC) has already approved over 500 parliamentary candidates, including four independent hopefuls and hundreds of those fronted from contesting political parties; which are RPF-Inkotanyi and six allied political parties, the Social Democratic Party (PSD), the Liberal Party (PL), the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda (DGPR), and PS Imberakuri.

The Lower Chamber of Parliament is made up of 80 members, 53 of whom are drawn from political parties or independents, 24 represent women (elected through the National Women Council structures), two youth representatives, and one representative of people living with disabilities.

The Government plans to spend between Rfw5 billion and Rfw6 billion on the polls, which are expected to attract about 7.1 million voters, including some 200,000 who will be electing MPs for the first time.



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