Rwanda: Men Dominate Senatorial Provincial Seats

The National Electoral Commission’s chairperson Kalisa Mbanda speaking in the Senatorial elections at Kigali City Hall on September 16, 2019.
17 September 2019

Only four out of the 12 successful candidates who were elected to represent the four provinces and the City of Kigali in Rwanda's third senate are women, according to the results.

The four are Adrien Umuhire and Pélagie Uwera, from Southern Province; Marie Rose Mureshyankwano, from Western Province; and Laetitia Nyinawamwiza, from Northern Province.

The elections took place yesterday morning after nearly two months of campaigns.

The electoral colleges voted in each of the four provinces and the City of Kigali in an exercise where 58 candidates were competing.

Of the 12 elected senators, one is from the City of Kigali, two come from the Northern Province, while each of the other three provinces picked three senators.

The Executive Secretary of the National Electoral Commission, (NEC) Charles Munyaneza, told The New Times in an exclusive interview that, overall, the preparations and turn-up was good.

"When you look at the results, you can see that there was a high level of competition. We could see it even during the campaign period that it would be a tight race in most places because there was good participation and lots of enthusiasm to vote," he said.

Munyaneza said that the competitiveness exhibited is good for democracy.

"They basically shared the votes, the margins were too tight," he said.

Rwanda's Senate is made up of 26 members - including the 12 members who represent the country's four provinces and the City of Kigali and are picked through electoral colleges - and eight senators appointed by the President of the Republic.

The Consultative Forum for Political Parties picks four senators, while both public and private tertiary institutions elect one senator.

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