31 August 2018

Rwanda: NEC Says Ready for Monday Polls

Photo: New Times
A National Electoral Commission employee loads a truck with materials and equipment that will be used during the parliamentary elections.

The National Electoral Commission (NEC) yesterday started dispatching voting materials to polling stations across the country, a step officials said is one of the last stages in the preparations for Monday's parliamentary elections.

NEC Chairman, Prof. Kalisa Mbanda, told election observers at a briefing in Kigali yesterday that everything is ready for Monday's election for 53 seats that are openly contested for in Parliament, except three more activities that are on-going.

The preparations also involve transpiration of electoral materials to the polling stations across the country, continued registration of election observers and sensitisation of Rwandans to go out and vote.

"Everything has been completed except those three things that remain and are being done," he said.

Thanking Rwandans for how they have so far been cooperative with the commission as it prepares for the elections, Kalisa said that it will be equally important for them to participate in the poll.

"It's good when the turnout for elections is high because it gives value to the poll. Every Rwandan is a stakeholder in these elections," he said.

On Monday next week, NEC expects some 7.1 million Rwandans to elect 53 MPs who will take seats in the 80-member Lower House.

It will be the country's fourth such poll since the end of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Rwandans in the Diaspora will vote the 53 MPs earlier on Sunday, September 2, and the poll will be facilitated by the country's embassies across the world.

Other members of the Lower House will be elected at different times by their electoral colleges, with one MP representing people living with disabilities getting elected on Sunday (September 2), while 24 MPs representing women and two MPs representing the youth will be elected on Tuesday September 4.

NEC officials said yesterday that nearly 2500 polling stations have been set up across the country for the general election on Monday and are expected to open for the poll at 7am and close at 3p.m to pave way for the tallying process.

More than 17000 polling rooms will be used for the vote at the polling stations and about 75000 electoral volunteers will be ready to facilitate the poll.

The volunteers are very critical for the success of the election because they help cut down its financial cost since they aren't paid to do their work but get a small allowance to enable them do their work for the day.

This year's parliamentary elections will be financed by the Government at 98 per cent and are expected to cost Rwf5.4 billion, NEC officials said yesterday.

NEC's Executive Secretary, Charles Munyaneza, told The New Times yesterday that about 70 per cent of the results from Monday's poll will be announced on the Election Day before mid-night.

Then preliminary results from the poll will be announced two days later, while final results will be announced within seven days after the election.

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